Edible Premna
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Edible Premna
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Edible Premna • Anaal: Linsui • Mizo: Lei-dum • Tamil: Atomukam, Tichamitam, Tichamitamaram • Telugu: Gabbunelli
Botanical name: Premna esculenta    Family: Lamiaceae (Mint family)
Synonyms: Gumira esculenta

Edible Premna is a shrub about 6-8 ft tall, short stemmed hairless, branches and branchlets slender, bluntly four-edged, furrowed. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, and at branch-ends in corymbs composed of 4-8 opposite cymes, velvet-hairy, about 4 x 6 cm across, flower-cluster-stalks four-edged, 1-2 cm long. Flowers are bisexual, many, greenish yellow, cream white, flower-stalks about 3 mm long, sepal-cup cup-shaped, 5 toothed, teeth blunt, tip pointed, velvet-hairy outside, about 3 x 3 mm across, flower funnel-shaped, 4 lobed, 2 lipped, white, lobes ovate to oblong, tip blunt, 3 x 2 mm across, flower tube narrow, densely velvet-hairy at the throat, hairless outside, about 3-4 mm long, stamens 4, didynamous, slightly protruding, filaments hairless, thread-like, about 1.5-2.5 mm long, style slender, thread-like, about 2.5 mm long. Leaves are simple, opposite, elliptic-lanceshaped, obovate-elliptic, 6-16 x 3-8 cm across, margins sawtoothed toothed, tip tapering, papery, dark green, hairless above, slightly paler yellowish velvet-hairy beneath when young, hairless when mature, lateral veins 4-7 on either side of the midvein. Leaf-stalks are slender, about 0.4-0.7 cm long. Fruit is a drupe, obovoid, about 3 mm in diameter, smooth, purple, fruiting sepal-cup cup-shaped, 5 lobed, membranous. Edible Premna is found in NE India to Thailand. Flowering : March-April.

Identification credit: M. Sawmliana Photographed in Aizawl, Hlimen etc, Mizoram.

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