'APOCYNACEAE' FAMILY PLANT - 'CARSSA CARANDAS'

ABOUT 'SPONDIAS PINNATA' PLANT

Carissa carandas
  
FAMILY:- APOCYNACEAE
 

BOTANICAL NAME:- Carissa carandas
 

VERNACULAR NAMES:
 

SINHALA : Mahakaramba Kala,
TAMIL : Kalakkay, Perungala
ENGLISH : Sri Lankan Damson, Malaysian Karanda
 



DESCRIPTION :
 

A small tree or a large shrub, with numerous, divaricate branches and very sharp horizontal spines, often branched.
 

LEAVES:- Simple, opposite, oblong-oval or oblong-lancelot, 2.5-6.2 cm long, subacute at base, obtuse at apex, glabrous, thin.
 

FLOWERS:- Regular, bisexual in threes, shortly stalked in clusters at the ends of short, axillary and terminal peduncles (period-during March)
 

FRUITS:- A smooth, ovoid, bluntly pointed, raddish-pufple berry, 1.8-2.5cm long with 4 seeds (Jayaweera, 1981).
 

DISTRIBUTION :
 

Grows in the drier sandy and rocky soils throughout India, Sri Lanka, Burma and Malaysia. It is rare in Sri Lanka and can be found in Jaffna, Kurunegala and other dry districts.
 

EDIBLE PARTS : Fruits
 

FOOD USE : Riped purple colour fruits are eaten fresh. They are used for making excellent tarts and puddings, pickled in vinegor when green, they are used for making jelly. 

NUTRITIONAL AND THERAPEUTIC VALUE:
 

The bark contains an alkaloid. The roots contain traces of a volatile oil, salicylic acid and an alkaloid. In India, the leaves are used for diarrhoea, earache, soreness of the mouth and throat and syphilitic pains. A decoction of the leaves is often used at the commencement of remittent fevers. The root has a reputation of being a bitter stomachic and used as a remedy for itch along with other ingredients. The riped fruit possesses antiscorbutic properties (Jayaweera, 1981).
 

OTHER USES:
 

It is planted as an exotic plant in Sri Lankan home gardens.