From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Carissa carandas
Mains level : NA
Carissa carandas, a multi-utility wild berry, whose thorny plant the British had used to build a barrier through India in the 1870s, has a hitherto unknown wilder cousin in Assam, a new study has revealed.
- The Carissa carandas was also among several thorny plants the British had grown 140 years ago for a 1,100-mile barrier apparently to enforce taxes and stop the smuggling of salt.
- It has been used as a traditional herbal medicine for a number of ailments such as diarrhoea, anaemia, constipation, indigestion, skin infections and urinary disorders.
- The leaves have been used as fodder for silkworms while a paste of its pounded roots serves as a fly repellent.
- It is better known as karonda in Hindi, kalakkai in Tamil, koromcha in Bengali and karja tenga in Assamese, the Carissa kopilii is threatened by the very river it is named after — Kopili in central Assam.
- The “sun-loving” plant was distributed sparsely, rooted in rocky crevices along the Kopili riverbed at altitudes ranging from 85-600 metres above sea level.