Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Basellaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)

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Basella alba L.

Leaf arrangement

Alternate

Leaf Type

Simple

Leaf Shape

Ovate, Elliptic, Oblanceolate

Leaf Apex

Leaf Base

Rounded

Leaf Margin

Entire

Habit : A succulent herbaceous twiner.

Habitat and Distribution : Common in thickets, by forest border, in plains, in scrub jungle. Hills above 500m. Probably a native of Tropical Asia and Africa, often cultivated.

Indigenous Information : The tender leaves are cooked and eaten. It is used to cure mouth ulcer.

Other relevent information : Tender leaves used as spinach.

Field Tips : Stem dark red colored.

 

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Names:

English : Indian Spinach
Irula : Basalae
Tamil : Pasalaikeerai, Paasaangalli
Hindi : Poi

Flower:

In spikes, pinkish green. Flowering peak from January-March.

Fruit :

A pseudo berry, globose or lobed. Seed 1, globose. Fruiting throughout the year.

All from Basellaceae
Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)