Carissa congesta

Carissa congesta Wight (APOCYNACEAE)
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Common names
Kannada: Karande, Karekai.
Malayalam: Kala, Karimullio.
Sanskrit: Karamarda.
Tamil: Kalaa, Kilaa.
Telugu: Kalivi, Waaka.
English: Bengal currant.

Description: Large thorny scandent shrubs with light grey bark; branchlets usually alternate, with twin stout sharp horizontal glabrous spines 2.5-4 cm long. Leaves elliptic-oblong or broadly ovate, 4-7.5 x 2.5 – 5 cm, cuneate to slightly rounded at base, blunty acute at apex, coriaceous, glabrous and shining; petioles 3-6 mm long. Flowers in terminal corymbose cymes, white. Calyx lobes 5, lanceolate, acuminate. Corolla tube long, lobes 5, lanceolate, acute; white or pale rose. Stamens 5, inserted near the top of corolla-tube; anthers oblong; filaments short. Ovary 2-locular; style filiform; stigma slightly pencillate at the apex. Fruit a berry, spherical, ovoid or globose, 2-2.5 cm across, red turning purple or black when ripe. Seeds 4.

Flowering : January – April.
Fruiting : March – July.

Distribution: India: Throughout. Sri Lanka.

Uses:  Fruits edible. Root stomachic and anthelmintic; decoction of leaves given in intermittent fever; fruit astringent, used in cardiac diseases; haemorrhage, diseases of nervous system, thirst and for alleviating vata and pitta.