PHYSALIS SOMNIFERA. G. Don.
Var. a. Physalis flexuosa, Linn.
P. somniferum, var. flexuosa, Hort. Cal. Phyllanthus urinaria, Linn.
Ashwagundha, . . BENG. Arakalang, . . . TAN. Flexuoso winter cherry. Amukanam, . . Asgandh, Kaknuj, HIND. Penneru aswagandhi, TEL. Pevetti, . . . MALEAL. Pilli vendram, . . A native of rocky places on the sea-coast of the south of Europe. Grows all over India. It has several shrubby branched stems, round and downy. The leaves are in lateral pairs, short stalked, ovate, downy, and from 2 to 4 inches long. The flowers are of a greenish-yellow or white. The berry is red and smooth, and about the size of a pea. This plant is the 77plixyo; TIXO; of Theophrastus (Hist. Plant. 9, 12), and the Irplivoy camcixal3op of Dioscorides (4, 72). It is reputed to be narcotic, diuretic, deobstruent, and alexipharmic. The leaves steeped in oil are in India applied to inflammatory tumours, and they are used in a similar way in Egypt. Kunth recognised this plant in Egyptian mummies.
Var. b. Physalis Peruviana, Linn., Boxb. Tophlee, Teperiya, BEND. Tapuria, Macao, . HIND. Pung-ben, . . . BERM. Budda busara, . . TEL. Cape gooseberry, . ENO. Budama, Busara kayo, ,, Peru winter cherry, ,, I Pambudda, , Brazil gooseberry, This variety is the P. Barbadensis, Lam.; P.
edulis, Sims; P. esculenta, TVilld.; P. latifolia, Lam.; P. pubescens, Linn., Herb.; P. tomentosa, Medic., and P. tuberosa, Zu cc. Grows luxuriantly in India in a good soil. The seed should be sown at the commencement of the rains. The young plants when about six inches high should be set out in rows at least two feet apart from each other, sufficiently wide apart, in fact, to allow the gardener to pass easily between them. They may be grown either on sticks or on trellis, and should be carefully pruned. The young shoots bear the finest fruit, and, if carefully attended to, will bear almost all the year round, the excellence and abundance of the fruit well repaying for extra care bestowed on the cultivation of the plant. It is a most wholesome and useful fruit ; none wore so for tarts, or even for dessert, and for making jam or preserve. Tho bush should every now and then be carefully pruned, cutting out the old wood, as the new shoots provide the finest flavoured fruit.Eng. Cyc.; O'Sh. ; Irvine, pp. 123, 183; Honig. p. 324 ; Riddell; Roxb. i. p. 562.