Shiny Bush
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Shiny Bush
aturalized Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Shiny Bush, Slate pencil plant, pepper elder, rat's ear, shiny bush, silverbush • Malayalam: Mashitandu chedi • Assamese: Pononoa • Sanskrit: Toyakandha, Varshabhoo • Nepali: लतपते Latapate • Oriya: ଭୁରvଓ Burshavo
Botanical name: Peperomia pellucida    Family: Piperaceae (Pepper family)
Synonyms: Peperomia exigua, Peperomia translucens, Piper pellicudum

Shiny bush is a common fleshy annual herb, growing by roadside and in wasteland. Stems are translucent pale green, erect or ascending, usually 15-45 cm long, internodes usually 3-8 cm long, hairless. Fleshy leaves are heart shaped, shiny light green, 1.5-4 cm long, 1-3.3 cm wide. It has very small bi-sexual flowers growing in the form of cord-like spikes, 3-6 cm long, arising from the leaf axils. The fruits are also very small, round to oblong, ridged, first green later black. They have one single seed. Shiny bush has a mustard like odor.The plant can be utilized as a vegetable and in salads. Shiny Bush is native to south America, but widely naturalized and cultivated.
Medicinal uses: In South America, Shiny Bush is used medicinally. A solution of the fresh juice of stem and leaves is used against eye inflammation. It is also been applied against coughing, fever, common cold, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, against kidney - and prostate problems and against high blood pressure. Shiny bush is also used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Sundar Nursery, Delhi.

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