White-Berry Bush
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White-Berry Bush
ative Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: White-Berry Bush, Common Bushweed • Hindi: सफेद चैनारी Safed chainari, Dalme, Patala • Kannada: belahuli, bilisuli, gudahale • Malayalam: perinklavu • Marathi: kodarsi • Tamil: irubulai, pula, varadbula, vedbula, vellaipula • Telugu: mekarayi, sulamunta, tellapuli, tellapurugudu • Mizo: Saisiak
Botanical name: Flueggea virosa    Family: Phyllanthaceae (Amla family)
Synonyms: Phyllanthus virosus, Securinega virosa, Phyllanthus virosus

White-Berry Bush is a multistemmed, fast-growing, bushy shrub, 2-3 m but sometimes a spreading tree up to 4 m high, with some small, thorn-like branches. The bark is reddish brown to brown. The leaves are green, crowded along the branchlets, alternate, elliptic to obovate, thinly textured, 1.5-9 cm long, 1.2-5 cm wide. It bears very small flowers which are creamy green. Fruit are white and fleshy and appear in December-March. The slender branches are used to make fish traps. The small fruit is sweet and eaten by people, animals and birds when ripe. White-Berry Bush is native to Africa, Asia and Australia. Flowering time: October-January.
Medicinal uses: The roots and fruits are believed to be an effective snakebite remedy. Roots of this plant are also used in some African communities as contraceptives and for the treatment of syphilis, gonorrhoea, rheumatism, sterility, rashes, and an infusion of the root is taken to relieve malaria. The bark is believed to provide a treatment for diarrhoea and pneumonia.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Karnataka.

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