Grewia populifolia Vahl
A suberect to erect shrub, up to 3 m tall. Stem with ash-grey bark, young twigs stellate hairy. Leaves 3-5-costate, almost glabrous to sparsely or densely stellate hairy on both sides, ovate-elliptic or obovate to almost orbicular, 0.6-4.5 cm long, 0.4-4 cm broad, sharply serrate, cuneate at the base, acute to obtuse, rarely emarginate at the apex; petiole 2-14 mm long, hairy; stipules linear-lanceolate, caducous. Flowers solitary or rarely paired, on solitary, antiphyllous, (0.6-) 1.2 cm long, hairy peduncle, white, rarely yellowish-white, 2-2.5 cm across; pedicel c. half as long as peduncle, stellate tomentose. Sepals linear-oblong, (1-) 1.4 (-1.6) cm long, c. 3-4 mm broad, stellate hairy outside. Petals linear, (0.8-) 1.1-1.4 cm long, c. 2 mm broad, claw much smaller than limb, with somewhat reniform densely ciliate gland, bilobed at the apex. Stamens numerous, filaments slightly shorter than style or subequal. Torus angular. Ovary 4-lobed, glabrous, rarely stellate hairy; style c. 8-10 mm long, clavate, glabrous, rarely sparsely stellate hairy, stigma somewhat cupular. Drupe usually 2-4-lobed, lobes c. 5-7 mm in diameter, glabrous, rarely with sprinkled stellate hairs, orange yellow with red-dish tinge.
Fl. Per.: February-August.
Type: Described from Egypt, Forskal 388 (C).
Distribution: Tropical and North Africa to Iran, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka (Ceylon).
Common in arid and semi-arid plains and hills throughout Pakistan.
A highly variable species, especially in size, shape and hairiness of leaves and petiole in addition to size of floral parts. S. A. Farooqi & Khush Bakhat [Univ. Stud. 4(3): 135-139. 1967] have studied the dynamics of leaf variation in this species and concluded that it includes 2 taxa which can be separated from each other by sharp discontinuity of petiole length. However, I have observed discontinuity of the petiole size even on one and the same plant hence it is not possible to recognize the two taxa even on the basis of this character.
The plant is commonly grazed by camels, goats and sheep.