Bush Sorrel
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Bush Sorrel
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Bush Sorrel, Wild Sour, Bush Althea • Mizo: Zâwng-anthûr • Tamil: Kashlikirai, kattuppuliccai • Malayalam: Assam susor • Telugu: Mullugogu • Kannada: mullu gogu
Botanical name: Hibiscus surattensis    Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Synonyms: Furcaria surattensis

Bush Sorrel is a weak-stemmed, prostrate or climbing plant covered with soft hairs and scattered prickles. The leaves are rounded, up to 10 X 10 cm, and deeply and palmately 3- to 5-lobed, the lobes being toothed. The flowers are yellow, with a dark center, and occur singly in leaf axils. Petals are obovate, up to 6 cm long and 4 cm wide. This flower can be easily identified by its unique false sepals, which are 8-10 in number. The false sepals (actually bracts) are forked into a spoon-shaped outer part, and a narrow linear inner part. But for this feature, the plant can be confused with Deccan Hemp. The capsules are hairy and ovoid. The seeds are downy. Bush Sorrel is found throughout the tropical world. Its leaves are commonly used as pot-herb in many parts of Africa and Asia. Flowering: September-March.
Medicinal uses: in Senegal the plant is used as an emollient. Watt and Breyer-Brandwijk report that the Zulus use a lotion of the leaf and stem for the treatment of penile irritation of any sort, including venereal sores and urethritis. It is sometimes applied as an ointment for the same purposes. An infusion is also used as an injection into the urethra and vaginafor gonorrhoea and other inflammations.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Mizoram.

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