Leaves: Leaves are leathery, oblong and tapered towards the top. They have a very small stalk.
Flower: The male and the female flowers are different. They are small, solitary and axillary. They blossom in between October to January.
Fruit: Fruits are dark red, ribbed on its lateral faces, and has one seed. Fruit is a spherical drupe. They ripen from October to January.
Seed: The seed is horse-shoe shaped.
Seed Dispersal: Seeds are dispersed by gravity, and by birds and animals. Humans help to disperse the seeds as well.
Where they grow: Pilwan grows in semi-desert scrub vegetation regions or deciduous bushland, sometimes in shady localities along streams or climbing on plants like Acacia. It can grow on hills up to 1900 m altitude. It grows on sandy and gravelly soils, and sometimes colonizes dry fallow land.
Medicinal: The juice of the leaf when diluted and mixed with sugar is used as a tonic.
The juice contains mucilage which when mixed with water forms a jelly which is applied externally on skin diseases. This is taken as a cooling medicine for gonorrhea.
Leaves are mostly used on wounds, nose bleeds, and as a fertility medicine for women, and to regulate the menstrual cycle. Decoction of leaves is used in constipation.
Roots and leaves are used as medicine for intermittent fevers, rheumatism.
The root has a great reputation against biliousness, menstrual problems and as a diuretic. Roots are used as a laxative, helminthic, malaria and cholagogue. A decoction of the roots is used together with Tinosporabakis (A. Rich.) Miers, to prepare a stimulating tonic. Roots and leaves are used in jaundice, yellow fever,
leprosy, syphilis, inflammation 6, in rheumatic pains 7 and of an aphrodisiac. Stem bark and root bark decoctions are used against intestinal parasites and gonorrhea.
An infusion of the plant is used to assist in removing thorns from the feet.
Other uses: Prevents soil erosion
Agroforestry: Juice of the ripe fruits yields a durable purple-blue dye which is used as ink and for dyeing of cloth by tribals.