Thornless Turkey Berry
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Thornless Turkey Berry
P Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Thornless Turkey Berry • Kannada: ಸೊಂಡೆ Sonde, ಹುಚ್ಚುಸೊಂಡೆ Hucchu sonde, ಸವುಡಂಗಿ Savudangi • Malayalam: ചെരിആചുന്ഡാ Cheriachunda • Tamil: Kaattu sundai kaai • Telugu: Usthi kaai
Botanical name: Solanum pubescens    Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)
Synonyms: Solanum calycinum, Solanum conanthum

Thornless Turkey Berry is an unarmed velvet-hairy shrub. Leaves are up to 12 x 7 cm, ovate-elliptic to triangular, tip pointed, base unequally flat, membranous, margins entire to wavy; leaf-stalk up to 8 cm, velvet-hairy. Flowers are borne in racemes in leaf-axils; flower-cluster-stalk to 5 cm, velvet-hairy; flower-stalks 2 cm, velvet-hairy. Flowers are blue; sepals 6 mm, lanceshaped, velvet-hairy; flower tube 5 mm, petals 6 mm, lanceshaped, velvet-hairy; ovary 1.5 mm, style 1 cm, stigma capitate. The fruits are around 1.2 cm diameter and is more bitter. Matured fruits change in color to orange. used as green manure for paddy cultivation. Unripe fruits are slightly crushed in order to remove the seeds and then dried. Dried fruits are used in cooking. Thornless Turkey Berry is found in Peninsular India and Sri Lanka. Flowering: August-December.
Medicinal uses: Immature fruits are very bitter to taste, it is consumed just like bitter guard. It helps to heal bowel complains and joint pains.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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