Wild Karanda
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Wild Karanda
ative elliptic Photo: Tabish
Common name: Wild Karanda • Hindi: गरने Garnae, Kharanu, Khirni, Jungli Karonda जंगली करौंदा • Telugu: Kavali • Oriya: Karamdika • Marathi: karvand • Tamil: சிருகிலா Chirukila • Kannada: ಚಿಕ್ಕಕವಳಿ Chikka kavali, ಕರಿಚಿ Karichi ನಾಯಿಕಲಮೆ Naayikalame
Botanical name: Carissa spinarum      Family: Apocynaceae (Oleander family)
Synonyms: Carissa hirsuta, Carissa diffusa, Carissa opaca

Wild Karanda is the wild cousine of the Karanda (Carissa carandas). It is an erect thorny shrub, with forked branches, 2-3 m in height. Wood is very hard; bark, light brown to green, can be stripped off longitudinally by hand, exposing the white to light-green wood underneath; thorns, 3.2 cm long, brown to greenish at the base and deep brown towards the tip. Leaves, ovate, 4.5 cm long, 2.5 cm broad, leathery; venation, reticulate pinnate; margin, entire; petiole 3 mm long; leaves exuding a white latex, when plucked from the stem. Flowers with five white narrow petals. The thorny bushes of Wild Karanda are found commonly growing in the forests and wastelands, and in Western Himalayas up to elevations of 1,500 metres. They are highly drought-resistant. They bear small fruits which are eaten raw and are also cooked. This shrub is found wild in Africa to Indo-China, Australia to New Caledonia.

Identification credit: Neelima Kale, Navendu Pagé, Nandan Kalbag Photographed in Delhi & Dhanore, Rajouri, J&K.

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