Oriental Mistletoe
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Oriental Mistletoe
P Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Oriental Mistletoe • Hindi: बांदा Baandaa • Kannada: Asarebanda, Asura banda, asurabanda, Hasari badanike, Hasum banda • Malayalam: Itthilkanni • Telugu: Bajinika, Chandrabadanika, Chandrabadanika, Kammi badanika, Sundara badanika
Botanical name: Viscum orientale    Family: Santalaceae (Sandalwood family)
Synonyms: Viscum montanum, Viscum roxburghianum, Viscum pamattonis

Oriental Mistletoe is a parasitic shrub with leaves opposite, 8 x 3 cm, spoon-shaped, tip pointed, entire to minutely rounded toothed, basally 3-5 nerved, leathery. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils in triads, lateral flowers male and central flowers female; bracts 1.5 mm, ovate. Male flowers have 4 tepals, 1 mm, ovate; stamens 4. Female flowers have 4 tepals, 1 mm, ovate; ovary 0.6 mm, stigma rounded. Berry is green, pea-sized, obovoid to spherical. Oriental Mistletoe is found in Indo-Malesia and Australia. Flowering: November-March
Medicinal uses: Oriental Mistletoe is used as a substitute for nux-vomica. Poultice of leaves is used for neuralgia; ashes of the plant for the treatment of skin diseases.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg, Siddarth Machado Photographed in Bangalore, Karnataka.

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