Woody Bergia
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Woody Bergia
P Native Photo: Varinder Kumar
Common name: Woody Bergia • Gujarati: Ropatri, Lavariu, Vithi Kharsan, Gandharo-Okhrad
Botanical name: Bergia suffruticosa    Family: Elatinaceae (Waterwort family)
Synonyms: Bergia odorata, Lancretia suffruticosa

Woody Bergia is an aromatic perennial undershrub, woody at base, prostrate or spreading, glandular-velvet-hairy. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, solitary or loose fasciculate cyme of 2-8 flowers. Flowers are white to pinkish, usually 5-merous, 4-5 mm across, flower-stalk 1-5.5 mm long, glandular velvet-hairy. Sepals are 5, free, ovate, 2.5-4 mm long, pointed or distinctly tapering, velvet-hairy, keeled. Petals are 5, free, obovate-oblong, equal to or slightly longer than the sepals, 3-4 mm long, blunt, entire, white to pinkish, transparent. Stamens are 10, equal or alternately long or short The older stems are hairless with deciduous papery bark. Branches are numerous, opposite, stiff. Leaves are opposite or often pseudo-whorled, stalkless or nearly so, obovate-oblong to inverted-lanceshaped or elliptic, 3-30 mm long, 2-10 mm broad, pointed to blunt, rounded toothed or minutely sawtoothed, often curled, densely velvet-hairy. Capsules are whitish pink, ovoid, 5-locular. Seeds are numerous, minute, shining, oblong-ellipsoid, dark brown to black. Woody Bergia is found in W. Pakistan, Western India, Iran, Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Senegal, Mauritiana, Kenya. Flowering: August-April.
Medicinal uses: The leaves are used as poultice on sores and broken bones.

Identification credit: Varinder Kumar, Paradesi Anjaneyulu Photographed in Faridkot, Punjab & Jodhpur, Rajasthan.

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