Common Name: Wild tea. Tamil Name: Paral
Wild tea is an evergreen shrub of South African origin. I saw this plant in Kotagiri Ghat road, growing along rocky cliff area at around 1000 msl. Wild tea is a semi-parasitic shrub with light green simple leaves which are arranged in an alternate manner. The leaves are ovate in shape with a sharp apex: the leaf measurers around 2.5-3 cm in length. The leaves have a smooth waxy-leathery feel. The plant bears both male and bisexual flowers. The male inflorescence is in the form of an axially cyme: the flowers are very small and have are yellowish-green in color. The fruit is initially green in color which turns black-purple on maturity. The wood is used in Africa for extraction of scented oil-similar to our sandalwood oil. The bark and other parts of the plant are used to make an infusion similar to tea. Uncommon plant.