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Common Name : White Wild Musk Mallow     -       Scientific Name : Abelmoschus ficulneus (Malvaceae)       -       Other Name : Native Rosella (E)
Pallekandal Pitiya
01/13/2014
Pallekandal Pitiya
01/13/2014
Pallekandal Pitiya
01/13/2014

This is an indigenous species that is also found in India, Malaysia, East, West and Central Africa, Madagascar and Northern Australia.
The conservation status of the species under reference is regarded as “Vulnerable” (National Red List 2012)

The stem of this species yields a white fiber used for twine and light cordage. The green stem produces a mucilaginous extract which is an effective calsifiyer of syger cane syrup. In Egypt this species is cultivated as a vegitable. The fruits are edible,and in Sudan both the fruits and the leaves are eaten in times of food scarcity. In Arabia the seeds of this species is used to improve the taste of cofee.

Leaves crushed with salted water are used to treat diarrhoea I Indonesia. In India a decoction of the crushed fres fruit is taken to treat calcium deficiency. In case of a scorpion bite, the root is crushed in a glass of water and drunk, while the root paste is applied on the area of the sting.

Even though this species is said to occur up to an altitude of 1350 meters in other countries, in Sri Lanka I have observed this species only in the dry lowland areas such as Mannar, Murunkan, Silavathurei, Mollikulam and Arippu growing close to water bodies. The flowers usually appear after the rains from December to January and last only a few days.

In Wilpattu I have observed these flowers at Pallekandal Pitiya in January. I found out that the hairs on the stem of this species cause extensive itching.