Withania Somnifera - Ashwagandha / Indian Ginseng
Withania somnifera is an upright perennial shrub native to India, North Africa and the Middle East.
It grows with branches that are finely bristly and alternate and oval leaves that are about 10 cm long long and about 5 cm wide, growing from a fleshy tuber underground.
The flowers have yellow petals on the inside but with a green outer-covering layer. Fruits are red berries in papery protective covering (calyx).
The leaves, berries and tubers of Ashwagandha have been in use for centuries in India as a home remedy and the extract is an important part of Indian Ayurvedic medicine.
Found in naturally in dry areas and in waste areas in sandy loam or light red soils.
Grows to around 1.5 meters in height.
Minimum recommended temperature above freezing, though intolerant of frosts.