Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Commiphora wightii (Arn.) Bhandari in Bull. Bot. Surv. India 6: 327. 1964 & Fl. Indian Desert 95. f. 34. 1978. Balsam odendron wightii Arn. in Ann. Nat. Hist. 3: 86. 1839. Commiphora mukul (Hook. ex Stocks) Engl. in A. & C. DC., Monogr. Phan. 4: 12.1883. Balsam odendron mukul Hook. ex Stocks in Hooker's J. Bot. Kew Gard. Misc. 1: 259. t. 8. 1849; A.W. Bennett in Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 529. 1875.

Beng., Guj., Hindi: Gugal, Guggul; Mar. & Kan.: Guggule; San.: Guggulu, Devadhupa, Koushikaha; Tam.: Marishakshi gukkal; Tel.: Guggul; Eng.: Indian bdellium.

Shrubs, up to 4 m high; branches knotty and crooked, aromatic; young parts glandular-pubescent; branchlets thorny. Leaves 1 - 3-foliolate; leaflets subsessile; terminal leaflets larger, often petiolulate; rhomboid-ovate or obovate, 0.8 - 3.8 x 0.5 - 2.6 cm, glaucous, cuneate at base, serrate or entire, sometimes serrate only towards the apex along margins; obtuse or acute at apex, laterals less than half the size of the terminal ones. Plants dimorphic: one with bisexual and male flowers and the other with female flowers with staminodes. Flowers solitary or in 2 - 3 flowered fascicles, red or pinkish white; bracts 2, opposite, glandular- hairy. Calyx campanulate or tubular, 1 - 2 mm long, fused with disk, glandular-hairy, 4 - 5-lobed; lobes 3-angular, as long as tube. Petals 4 - 5, broadly linear, 3 - 5 x 1 mm, reflexed at apex. Stamens 8, rarely 10, alternately long and short, 3 - 5 mm long; shorter ones inserted in deeper alternate sinuses of disk. Staminodes 1 - 1.5 mm long in female flowers. Disk 8 - 10 lobed. Ovary oblong-ovoid, attenuate into style; stigma obscurely 2-lobed. Drupes ovoid, red when ripe with two white longitudinal lines; mesocarp yellow, rarely orange, 4-lined; pyrenes ovoid, acute.

Fl. & Fr. Jan. - May, Sept. - Dec.

Distrib. India: On open dry hills and other rocky habitats. Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

Arabia, Baluchistan and Pakistan(Sind).

Uses. The pale brown or dull green coloured gum-resin collected during the cold season is used as incense, as a fixatiw in perfumery and in medicine. It is used as an antiseptic on old wounds, as a uterine stimulant, as a gargle for weak and spongy gums and pyorrhoea. It stimulates appetite and improves digestion. It acts as a diaphoretic, diuretic and expectorant. In Iran, used as a stomachic and for muscular rheumatism.

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