Stemless Premna
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Stemless Premna
P Native Photo: Sunit Singh
Common name: Stemless Premna • Assamese: মটিযা জাম Matia-jam, Matiya-jam, Mati-pharuwa • Bengali: Bamanhali • Garo: Bol-sal-thanuri, Mati-pharuwa • Hindi: भरंगी Bharangi • Kannada: ನಾಯಿತೇಗ Nayitega • Malayalam: Cherutekku • Marathi: Gantubarangi • Sanskrit: भूमि जम्बुकः Boomi-jambuka • Tamil: Sirudekku • Telugu: Nelaneredu
Botanical name: Premna herbacea    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Premna nana, Premna sessilifolia, Premna obovata

Stemless Premna is a dwarf or small undershrub, almost stemless, forming a sort of underground, knotty runner from which annual flowering stems, 2-10 cm high, develop. Leaves are obovate, 3-5 cm long, 1.5-3 cm broad, coarsely sawtoothed-toothed, stalkless, usually hairy beneath, finely velvet-hairy above on the nerves, drying blackish, in 2-3 close pairs forming a rosette. Tiny flowers are borne in a cyme at the top of stem, not exceeding the leaves, dense, 2.5-4 cm across, hairy. Flowers are about 2.5 mm across, pale yellowish or greenish. Calyx is 2-2.5 mm long, cup-shaped, subequally and bluntly 5-toothed, velvet-hairy. Flower-tube is 2.5-3 mm long; hairy in the throat; limb obscurely 2-lipped, 4-lobed. Drupe is 5-6 mm in diameter, spherical, black, collared below by slightly enlarged, persistent calyx. Stemless Premna is found in the sub-Himalayan tracts, India and Bangladesh, at altitudes of 200-1700 m. It is a rare plant, of hard soil. It is said that the plant often comes up after forest fire. Flowering: February-April.
Medicinal uses: The roots are considered medicinal. Juice of leaves is rubbed on the body also and applied to the head in fever to reduce temperature. Ripe fruit is eaten. The juice from roots and rhizomes is used in India to treat dropsy, cough, asthma, fever, rheumatism and cholera.

Identification credit: Sunit Singh, Mallika Basumatari Photographed in Badyargarh, Uttarakhand & Orang National Park, Assam.

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