Elm-Leaf Grewia
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Elm-Leaf Grewia
ative Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Elm-Leaf Grewia, Microcos • Hindi: शिरल Shiral • Manipuri: ꯍꯩꯇꯨꯞ Heitup • Marathi: हसोली Hasoli • Tamil: Visalam • Malayalam: Kottakka • Kannada: ಅಭ್ರಾಂಗ Abhraanga, ಪಿಟ್ಲಕಾಯಿ Pitlakaayi, ಮಜ್ಜಿಗೆಸೊಪ್ಪು Majjige soppu, ಪೆಟಲುಕಾಯಿ Petalu kaayi • Bengali: Asar
Botanical name: Microcos paniculata      Family: Tiliaceae (Falsa family)
Synonyms: Grewia microcos, Grewia nervosa, Grewia ulmifolia

Elm-Leaf Grewia is a large shrub or medium sized tree. Young shoots stellate hairy. Leaves 3-costate, elliptic-lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, 8.5-13.5 cm long, 4-5.5 cm broad, glabrous except for stellate hairs on veins and veinlets beneath, entire or slightly serrate; petiole 0.8-1.2 cm long, hairy; stipules linear-lanceolate, c. 8-10 mm long, acute-acuminate, stellate hairy. Cymes shortly pedunculate, 2-3-flowered, arranged in a terminal or axillary, 8-15 cm long, hairy panicle. Flowers yellowish-white, c. 8-10 mm across; pedicels small, hairy; bracts subulate, c. 3-4 mm long, caducous. Sepals linear-oblong, 6-7 mm long, 2.5-3 mm broad, densely hairy outside, cucullate at the apex. Petals oblong, about half as long as sepals, with hairy gland at the base, emarginate or irregularly serrate at the apex. Stamens numerous, filaments 3-4 mm long, hairy towards the base. The leaves are considered eminently suitable for wrapping cigars. The light to medium-weight hardwood is used for cabinet work. Rope can be manufactured from the fibrous bark. The fruits are edible. Elm-Leaf Grewia is native of India to S. China and Malesia. It is found in NE India and Western Ghats.
Medicinal uses: In India, the plant is used in indigestion, typhoid, dysentery and syphilitic ulceration of the mouth and was used in small pox, eczema and itches. In southern China an infusion of the leaves is taken for indigestion and as a cooling drink. In Indo-China a drink prepared from the roasted and boiled leaves is given to children as a vermifuge.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé Photographed in Alibag, Maharashtra

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