Punjab Poison Oak
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Punjab Poison Oak
D Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Punjab Poison Oak • Hindi: Amtara, Dashmila • Punjabi: Dor, Kangar, Palai, Rastu
Botanical name: Rhus punjabensis    Family: Anacardiaceae (Cashew family)
Synonyms: Toxicodendron punjabense

Punjab Poision Oak is a tree up to 12 m tall. Young shoots vare elvet-hairy to rusty woolly. Leaves are imparipinnate, 30 cm or more long. Leaflets are 9-13 in number, opposite, nearly stalkless, 4-12 x 2-5.5 cm, ovate-oblong, entire to sometimes finely minutely toothed, pointed to subtapering, rusty woolly, more on the underside, base often oblique. Flowers are borne in panicles at branch-ends, shorter than the leaves, rusty woolly. Calyx is shallow cup-shaped, 5-cleft. Petals are 5, about 2 mm long, inverted-lanceshaped, equalling or exceeding sepals. Stamens are 5; filaments 2 mm long. Drupe is spherical, 3.5-4 mm broad. Punjab Poision Oak is found in NW Himalaya, Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Pakistan, at altitudes of 1000-2650 m. Flowering: April-September.
Medicinal uses: An excrescence produced on the leaf by an insect Melaphis chinensis or M. paitan is antiseptic, astringent and haemostatic. It is used in the treatment of persistent cough with blood, chronic diarrhoea, spontaneous sweating, night sweats, bloody stool, urorrhoea and bloody sputum. It is applied externally to burns, bleeding due to traumatic injuries, haemorrhoids and ulcers in the mouth.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh.

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