Rubbery Mango Mistletoe
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Rubbery Mango Mistletoe
P Native Shrub ovate Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Rubbery Mango Mistletoe
Botanical name: Helicanthes elasticus    Family: Loranthaceae (Mistletoe family)
Synonyms: Loranthus elasticus

Rubbery Mango Mistletoe is a semi-parasitic dichotomously branched subshrub; branchlets woody, swollen at nodes, hairless. Leaves are opposite, 4-8 x 1.5-4 cm, ovate or elliptic-oblong, base blunt or flat, tip pointed or blunt, thickly leathery, glaucous beneath, basally 3-nerved; stalkless or nearly stalkless. Flowers are aggregated in short in leaf-axils fascicles. Calyx is minute, flask-shaped, margin flat. Flower are white with green stripes, 2.5-3.5 cm long, split lengthwise into 5 linear, twisted petals. Stamens are 5, protruding, filaments crimson. Ovary about 1.5 mm long; style 3-3.5 cm long; stigma ovoid. Berry 6-8 x 3-3.5 mm, obovoid, red. Rubbery Mango Mistletoe is endemic to Western Ghats.
Medicinal uses: Rubbery Mango Mistletoe is a less-known medicinally important mistletoe species. It is used to check abortion, and also in vesical calculi and kidney affections. There are no detailed studies reporting the antimicrobial potential of this plant.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed in Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra & Palladam, Tamil Nadu.

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