Twoleaf Nightshade
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Twoleaf Nightshade
aturalized Photo: Tabish
Common name: Twoleaf Nightshade
Botanical name: Solanum diphyllum    Family: Solanaceae (Potato family)

Twoleaf nightshade is a woody shrub native to the American continents. It is occasionally cultivated as a garden plant and has become naturalized in parts of India. Twoleaf nightshade has shiny unequal paired leaves. one is large and elliptic-obovate, the other small and rounded. Small white flowers are borne fascicled in leaf axils. The drooping white flowers have five recurved petals and stamens with large yellow anthers. The flowers are pollinated by wasps, bees, and flies—the vibration of the wings causes the anthers to release the pollen. The many-seeded berries are initially green, and ripen to yellow-orange. Birds eat the berries and are the primary dispersers of the seeds. Flowering: May-July.
Medicinal uses: Fruits are given as tonic and laxative, to improve appetite and are useful in asthma and skin diseases. Green fruits are crushed and applied locally on ringworm by Kharwar, Khairwar, Baiga, Baiswar, Kol, Nayak, Bind and several tribes and local inhabitants of Uttar Pradesh.

Identification credit: Chandrashekhar Marathe, Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Green Park City Forest, Delhi & Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai.

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