Fragrant Swamp Mallow
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Fragrant Swamp Mallow
ative Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Fragrant Swamp Mallow, Pavonia, Fragrant Pavonia • Hindi: सुगंधबाला Sugandhabala • Marathi: सुगंधबाला Sugandhabala, Kalavala • Tamil: Peramutti, Avibattam • Malayalam: Iruveli, Kuruntotti • Telugu: Chittibenda, Ettakuti • Kannada: ಬಲರಾಕ್ಷಿ (ಗಿಡ) Balarakshi (gida), ಬಲರಕ್ಕಸಿ Balarakkasi • Gujarati: Kalowalo • Sanskrit: Udichya, Varinamaka, ह्रिबेरा Hribera, Valaka
Botanical name: Pavonia odorata    Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)

Fragrant Swamp Mallow is an erect perennial herb,covered with sticky hairs. Leaves are heart-shaped-ovate, 3-5 angled or 3-5 lobed, 4-6 cm long, 5-7 cm broad. Flowers arise singly in leaf axils, or fascicled at the end of branches. Bracts are 10-12 in number, linear, and sepals are 5. Flowers are pink, twice longer than the sepal cup. Fruit is spherical and mericarps smooth, wingless. Fragrant Swamp Mallow is found in India, Pakistan, Burma, Srilanka and East Tropical Africa.
Medicinal uses: The plant is used in Ayurvedic medicine. A powder is obtained by grinding the dried roots of Fragrant Swamp Mallow. This powder is used for skin conditioning and soothing.

Identification credit: Sankara Rao Photographed at Karighatta Hill, Karnataka.

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