Toxic Gooseberry
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Toxic Gooseberry
ative Photo: Surajit Koley
Common name: Toxic Gooseberry, Herbicide tree • Hindi: गराड़ी Garari, गर्राड़ Garrar • Marathi: Garari • Tamil: ஒடுவங்காய் Otuvankaay, Nilaippalai, Odaichi, Odan, Odishi • Malayalam: Nilappala, Odugu • Telugu: Kadise, Korshe, Korsi, Vadise • Kannada: Badedarige, ಬೋಳದರಗ Boladaraga, Bodadaraga, ಕಾಡುಗರಗರಿ Kadugaragari • Oriya: Korodo • Sanskrit: Indrayava, Kaudigam, Kutaja, Nandi
Botanical name: Cleistanthus collinus    Family: Phyllanthaceae (Amla family)
Synonyms: Bridelia collina, Emblica palasis, Lebidieropsis collina

Toxic Gooseberry is a small deciduous tree. Bark is dark brown, almost black, often with a reddish tinge, rough, peeling in rectangular woody scales. Leaves are alternate, quite entire, leathery, circular, broadly-obovate or elliptic, 1.5-3 inches long. Leaf stalk is 6 mm long. Flowers are yellowish-green, in small silky hairy clusters in leaf axils. Sepals are ovate-lance-shaped. Petals are as many as the sepals, minute narrow. Stamens are 5, filaments united in a column in the centre of the disk, and bearing a pyramidal or 3-lobed pistillode. Fruit is woody, stalkless, spherical, obscurely 3-rarely 4-lobed, 1.5-2 cm in diameter, dark-brown, shining. The bark is used to poison fish, and the outer crust of the fruit and the leaves and roots are also said to be exceedingly poisnous. Toxic Gooseberry is native to the Indian subcontinent.

Identification credit: Surajit Koley, Prashant Awale Photographed in Bengal & Pench Reserve Forest, Maharashtra.

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