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P Introduced Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Crossberry, Pink donkeyberry
Botanical name: Grewia occidentalis    Family: Tiliaceae (Falsa family)

Crossberry is a small, scrambling, deciduous tree reaching a height of about 3 m. It is generally cultivated as a garden shrub. Its purple, star-shaped flowers, measuring 1.5-3 cm across, appear in summer, followed by distinctive four-lobed berries, from which it gets its common names "crossberry". These shiny reddish-brown fruits remain on the tree for long periods and are favoured by fruit-eating birds. The simple leaves are shiny, elliptic to ovate and 3-veined from the base, deep green and sometimes slightly hairy. The berries are eaten locally, either fresh and raw, fermented with traditional beer, or used with goats milk to make berry yoghurt. Crossberry is native to Africa.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in cultivation in Bangalore.

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