West-Himalayan Skimmia
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West-Himalayan Skimmia
P Native Shrub obovate Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: West-Himalayan Skimmia
Botanical name: Skimmia anquetilia    Family: Rutaceae (Lemon family)

West-Himalayan Skimmia is a dioecious shrub usually under 4 ft high, sometimes prostrate. Leaves are light green, up to almost 7 in. long, inverted-lanceshaped or oblong-elliptic, mostly tapering to the base for about two-thirds of their length, emitting when crushed a very heavy and, to some people, disagreable odour; leaf-stalk stout, up to 1.2 cm long. Inflorescence short and very compact. Sepals are five, ovate, pointed, or blunt. Petals are five, yellow, erect, with strongly incurved margins. Stamens about equalling the flower, with orange anthers. Fruits dull red, up to almost 1.2 cm long, with two or three stones. Native of the western Himalaya as far east as W. Nepal, extending into eastern Afghanistan; it appears to be common in the undergrowth of coniferous forest, up to 4000 m.
Medicinal uses: Traditionally, the leaf infusion of S. anquetilia is taken for treatment of headache, freshness and general fever.The leaves of S. anquetilia are aromatic and known to contain linalool, geraniol, pinene, scopoletin, skimmianine, umbelliferone. They are used for treatment of swellings, rheumatism and therapy. Powder of its bark is used for the healing of burns and wounds.Its leaves is also are used for the treatment of headache and smallpox as well as for freshness.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed in Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand.

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