Elaeagnus latifolia

Elaeagnus latifolia   L.  (ELAEAGNACEAE)
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Common name

Kannada: Gunnamada patteballi.

Description: Large often thorny scandent shrubs; young shoots scurfy with rust-coloured shining scales; stems and branches more or less spinous. Leaves elliptic to obovate or elliptic-lanceolate, 4-10 x 2-5 cm, acute or rounded at base, rounded to acuminate at apex, chartaceous, green above, prominent silvery-white beneath; petioles 1-1.5 cm long. Flowers many in axillary clusters, silvery. Perianth tube cylindric to urceolate, lobes 4, stellately hairy inside. Stamens 4, inserted at the mouth of the perianth-tube; filaments slender, short. Ovary superior, unilocular; style erect, hairy; stigma simple. Fruit a drupe, ellipsoid, 2-3 cm long, 8 ribbed, with persistent calyx, pinkish or red with small whitish scabrous spots when ripe. Seed solitary, ca 1.8 cm long, erect, hard, shining.

Flowering & Fruiting: November - March.

Distribution: India: Throughout. Frequent  in evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of Western Ghats and  W. Coast. Sri Lanka, Malaya Islands, China.

Uses:  The fruits with a subacrid flavour are edible. It makes excellent tarts and jellies. The wood is used as fuel. Flowers cardiotonic; flower and fruit astringent.