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ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Falsa, Sherbet Berry • Gujarati: Shukri • Hindi: फाल्सा Falsa • Konkani: Phalsi • Malayalm: Chadicha • Manipuri: ꯁꯟꯖꯦꯜꯍꯩ Sanjelhei • Nepali: फाल्सा Falsa, स्याल फुस्रे Syaal Phusre, स्याल फुस्रो Syaal Phusro • Kannada: ಫುಲ್ಶಾ Phulsha • Telugu: Phutiki • Sindhi: Pharaho • Sanskrit: Mriduphal म्रदुफल • Oriya: Pharosakoli • Tamil: உந்நு Unnu • Urdu: Falsa ﻓﺎﻟﺴﺎ
Botanical name: Grewia asiatica    Family: Tiliaceae (Falsa family)
Synonyms: Grewia subinaequalis, Grewia hainesiana

Falsa is a shrub or small tree which can grow upto 12 feet high. Its bark is greyish-white or greyish-brown. Leaves with serrated margins vary from broadly heart-shaped to obliquely ovate. The flowers are yellow about 2 centimeters in length, and borne in densely crowded (rarely solitary) axillary cymes. The fruit is edible, rounded, small dark blue to almost black when ripe, sweetish and somewhat acid, with a fairly good flavor and each drupe contains a rather large seed. The fruit is eaten raw with relish and sold in Delhi lanes in summers, with great enthusiasm by singing hawkers. Falsa is found in Iran, Afghnistan to the Indian Subcontinent to SE Asia and Australia.
Medicinal uses: The fruit is supposed to possess astringent, cooling and stomachic properties. A spirit is distilled and a pleasant sherbet is made from it. The leaves are used as an application to pustular eruptions. The Santals prescribe the root-bark for rheumatism. In Sind an infusion of the bark is used as a demulcent.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed in Maharashtra & Delhi.

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