Patthar Suva
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Patthar Suva
ative Photo: J. M. Garg
Common name: Patthar Suva • Hindi: Patthar-suva, seri • Kannada: parpataka, kallu suseege, parpaataka, ghattarasva • Marathi: phattar-suva, seri, patharasuva • Sanskrit: Charak, Parpata, Pithari, Renu • Tamil: parapalanam • Telugu: parapalanam
Botanical name: Glossocardia bosvallia    Family: Asteraceae (Sunflower family)
Synonyms: Verbesina bosvallia

Patthar Suva is a small annual herb, 10-20 cm tall. The plant is branched from the base and the branches are grooved. Alternately arranged leaves, 1.5 cm long, are pinnately cut in to linear segments. Yellow flowers are borne in heads carried on slender stalks, in leaf axils or at the end of branches. Outer 3 bracts are 3 mm long, 3 inner ones are 7 mm long, striped. Seedpods are 6 mm, brown, hairy. Flowering: August-December.
Medicinal uses: Pithari plant is used as an emmenagogue in medicine. In Ayurveda, the plant is used as a substitute for Oldenlandia corymbosa. The tribal inhabitants of western Maharashtra use a decoction of the plant as febrifuge. A paste of the fresh Pithari plant is applied to promote healing of sores and wounds. It has a bitter taste and fennel like odour. Besides serving as a medicinal plant Pithari plant is also used in culinary purposes. People of some states in India take Pithari plant as a vegetable.

Identification credit: Rani Bhagat
Photographed in Keesaragutta, Andhra Pradesh.
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