Suvarna Garge

Grewia latifolia

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Kingdom  Plantae
Family  Malvaceae
Tribe  Grewieae
Rank  Species
Order  Malvales
Subfamily  Grewioideae
Genus  Grewia
Grewia latifolia httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Similar  Grewia retusifolia, Grewia transzambesica, Grewia damine, Grewia robusta, Grewioideae

Grewia latifolia is a small shrub endemic to Northern and Eastern Australia. Growing to a height of 2m, the species is characterised by ovate leaves with serrated margins. The leaves are discolourous with green papery upper surfaces and pale green to yellow pubescent lower surfaces. The species is deciduous, shedding leaves in response to dry conditions. Cream coloured flowers are produced year round. Fruits are woody capsules with four externally visible compartments covered with coarse hairs. These fruits have an distinct similarity to dog testicles, giving rise to the common name of Dogs Balls. Other common names include Emu Berry and Dysentery Bush.

Ecology and uses

G. latifolia grows in open woodland on free draining soils. It is highly drought tolerant and shoots from underground roots and stems when defoliated by fire or grazing.

Fruit of G. latifolia are edible, with a thin layer of sweet flesh covering the woody inner capsules and were a minor food source for Australian Aborigines. The fruit were also used by both Aborigines and early Europeans as a treatment for diarrhea, hence the common name of Dysentery Bush.

References

Grewia latifolia Wikipedia


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