Christ's thorn (കരണ്ട)

Scientific Name: Carissa carandas L.

Synonyms: Arduina carandae Baill., Arduina carandas (L.Baill.

Unique ID: 40

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class: Gamopetalae                         

Series: Bicarpellatae

Order: Gentianales

Family: Apocyanaceae

Common Names

English – Karanda, Christ’s thorn

Malayalam – കരണ്ട

Tamil – Kilaakkaai, Kalaaha

Hindi – Karaunda


Description: Armed shrubs, latex milky, dichotomously branched, spines forked at apex, 4.5 cm. Leaves 6 x 3.5 cm, elliptic-oblong, apex obtuse or emarginate, subcoriaceous; petiole to 0.5 cm. Cymes axillary and terminal, corymbose, puberulus; flowers white; calyx 5-lobed, 2.5 mm ,ovate, , aristate; corolla hypocrateriform, tube 2 cm, pubescent, twisted, 7 x 3 mm, ovate, pubescent; stamens 2.5 mm, obtuse, mucronate, sessile; ovary 1 mm, stigma fusiform, twisted. Berry 2.5 cm across, black when ripe.


Habitat: Dry deciduous forests, also grown in homesteads ; Common in plains and scrub jungles along river banks upto 900m

Distribution:  Indo-Malesia

Uses: Fruits are edible, the immature fruits are pickled. The thorny branches are used for fencing.They are known to have antiscorbutic properties