Red Himalayan Gooseberry
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Red Himalayan Gooseberry
P Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Red Himalayan Gooseberry
Botanical name: Phyllanthus clarkei    Family: Phyllanthaceae (Amla family)
Synonyms: Diasperus clarkei

Red Himalayan Gooseberry is a shrub up to 1.5 m tall, hairless throughout; stems round, brown, much branched; branches 9-26 cm, slightly angular at upper part. Leaf-stalk about 1 mm; leaves obovate, sometimes elliptic, 5-15 x 4-8 mm, thinly papery or membranous, base broadly wedge-shaped or rounded, tip rounded or blunt; lateral veins 4-6 pairs. Flowers are borne singly in leaf-axils, flower-stalks with several bracteoles at base. Male flowers: flower-stalks about 3 mm; sepals 6, oblong, about 1 mm, margin entire, membranous, midrib thicker below, persistent in fruit; stamens 3. Female flowers: flower-stalks about 8 mm; sepals and disk as in male; ovary spherical; styles 3, spreading, deeply bifid. Fruits are spherical, 3-4 mm in diameter, red, smooth, 3-locular, on 5-10 mm long delicate stalks. Red Himalayan Gooseberry is found in open forests, riverside scrub, at altitudes of 800-3000 m, in the Himalayas, from Nepal to NE India, S. China and Indo-China. Flowering: June-September.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh.

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