Salvadora persica

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Salvadora persica Family

Salvadoraceae

Salvadora persica English Name

Toothbrush tree

Salvadora persica Local Name

Meswak

Salvadora persica

Salvadora persica Description

This plant is a large, well-branched evergreen shrub or small tree with the height of 5 to 7 meters, having soft whitish yellow wood, its bark is of old stems rugose, branches are numerous. Leaves are somewhat fleshy and 3 to 7 cm long by 2 to 4 cm broad in size. The flowers are greenish yellow in color, in axillary and terminal compound lax panicles of about 4 to 13 cm long. Calyx is 1.2 mm long, glabrous and has rounded lobes. Corolla is very thin, and it is about 3 mm long, deeply cleft, persistent, lobes are 2.5 mm long, oblong, obtuse, and much reflexed. Stamens are shorter than corolla. Drupe is 3 mm in diameter, globose, smooth and becomes red when ripe. The flowers of the plant are small and fragranced.

Salvadora persica

Salvadora persica Distribution

The plant is native to the Middle East and Africa. It can be found in the western region of Pakistan which is Balochistan province. It grows better in desert floodplains, riverbanks, and grassy savannahs. It has high tolerance for salty soils. It prefers ready access to groundwater

Salvadora persica

Salvadora persica Uses

The stick of the plant is known as miswak. It is popular for teeth cleaning throughout the Arabian Peninsula, Iranian Plateau, as well as the wider Muslim world. The fresh leaves are used in traditional plant and can be eaten as part of a salad. The flowers are used as a stimulant and are mildly purgative. The berries of the plant are eaten both fresh and dried. The wood of the plant can be used for charcoal and firewood.

(Orwa et al., 2009

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