Two-Lobed crossberry (Scientific name: Grewia laevigata) is a medium sized tree found in the evergreen and semi-evergreen forests of Kerala. Also known as vallichadachchi. This tree belongs to the family Tiliaceae and is found in India, Burma, Sri Lanka and some African countries. The tree is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of fibre.
Two-Lobed Crossberry is an evergreen, large shrub to medium sized tree. Stem have dark brown bark, and young shoots have starry hairs. Leaves are lance-shaped, with 6-8 mm long stalk. They are 10-13 cm long, 3.5-5 cm broad, 3-ribbed, almost hairless, toothed. Leaves are narrow at both ends, long-pointed at the tip. Stipules are linear-lanceshaped, 4-5 mm long. Flowers are borne in 2-3-flowered cymes. Stalks carrying the flowers clusters occur singly or 2-3 together in axils, and are 1.5-1.8 cm long. Flowers are yellowish-white, 2.5 cm across. Flower-stalks are as long as stalks of flower-clusters. Bracts are similar to and as long as stipules. Sepals are oblong, 1.2-1.5 cm long, 3-nerved, densely velvety outside. Petals are small, oblong-elliptic, 4-5 mm long, claw bigger than limb, with large gland covering the whole petal except the pointed tip. Stamens are numerous, filaments 4-5 mm long. Ovary is mostly bilobed, rarely more or less lobed, hairy. Style is longer than stamens, stigma with 1-4 laciniate lobes. Berries are mostly of 2, fused lobes, rarely entire or 4-lobed, lobes 6-8 mm in diameter. Berries are smooth, and turn black on maturity. Flowering: July-October.
Berries are edible, either fresh and raw, locals ferment the fruit with traditional beer, also used with goats milk to make berry yoghurt.
Parts of the plant are used in traditional medicine. Antioxidants present in fruits and juices made from them, are claimed to be helpful against cancer, cardiovascular and various chronic diseases. The presence of various biofunctional and chemo-preventive compounds in fruits, believed to have health-boosting properties, are a major reason for their increased consumption. Fruits are regarded as a valuable food commodity with potential health benefits, being a rich source of carbohydrates, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals which are essential for an active and healthy life.