Scientific Name :Carissa spinarum
Tamil Name: Chirukila
Description: Conkerberries are edible, but only when fully ripe; they have a sweet flavour, but the milky sap of this plant – and its unripe fruit – is poisonous, as typical for the Apocynaceae. They are a popular bush tucker food for Australian Aborigines in Central Australia.
Habitat and distribution: It is widely distributed in tropical regions of Africa, Southern Asia, Australia various islands of the Indian Ocean. C. spinarum is most often found in semiarid coastal regions on fine-textured soils such as clays and clay-loams; in more arid regions the plant tends to be confined to areas of higher moisture such as at the base of hills or flood out areas. It is most well known in Australia, where it is also called Currant Bush or, more ambiguously, “native currant” or even “black currant”. In India it is also called Wild Karanda.
Note: It has a high ecological tolerance and can live in a wide range of habitats. C. spinarum is frequently a weed in grazing land in northern Australia, choking out grasses, reducing the ability of livestock to feed, interfering with stock handling and providing a refuge for vermin
Photo source: Dr. J. Subramanean