Spinous Kino Tree
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Spinous Kino Tree
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Spinous Kino Tree • Hindi: काझी kaji, Khaja, kassi • Marathi: असणा asana • Tamil: Mullu-Vengai, Adamarudu, Kaduga • Malayalam: Mulkaini, Mulluvenga • Telugu: Kora maddi • Kannada: ಆಸನ Asana, ಗುಜ್ಜು Gujju ಕೋಮಂಚಿ Komanchi, ಕೊಯ್ಯಮುಂಚಿ Koyyamunchi, ಮುಳ್ಳುಹೊನ್ನೆ Mulluhonne, ಬೀಳ್ಕುಂಬೆ Beelkumbe • Bengali: Geio • Sanskrit: आसन asana, ekavira • Mizo: Phaktel
Botanical name: Bridelia retusa    Family: Phyllanthaceae (Amla family)

Spinous Kino Tree is identified by rigid leathery leaves with straight parallel lateral veins and strong spines on the bark of young stems. It is a drought hardy species, produces root-suckers and a good coppicer. Leaf-blade is elliptic-oblong to elliptic-oblanceolate, 10-20 x 4-10 cm, tip somewhat pointed, sometimes blunt, base is rounded or roundly wedge-shaped, margin entire or wavy, thinly leathery, lateral nerves 15-20 pairs. Flowers are arranged in axillary fascicles and also in fascicles on leafless branches appearing as spikes. The fascicles are either unisexual or bisexual; axes densely puberulous; bracts small, acute; flowers stalked. Fruit is globose, fleshy sweetish drupe, about the size of a pea, purple-black, seated on a hard enlarged calyx. 1 or 2 seeds with fairly thick bony shells. Distributed throughout India, in hotter parts along the base of the Himalayas from Kashmir to Mishmi, southward to Ceylon. Flowering: May-August.
Medicinal uses: The plant is pungent, bitter, heating, useful in lumbago, hemiplegia; bark is good for the removal of urinary concretions (Ayurveda). Root and bark are valuable astringents. The bark is used as a liniment with gingelly oil in rheumatism.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Mumbai & Jharkhand.

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