Withania somnifera, Physalis somnifera,
Common Winter-cherry, Sleepy nightshade,
سم الفراخ ,ויתניה משכרת

Scientific name:  Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal
Synonym name:  Physalis somnifera L.
Common name:  Common Winter-cherry, Sleepy nightshade
Hebrew name:  ויתניה משכרת
Arabic name:  سم الفراخ "Simm Frakh"
Plant Family:  Solanaceae, סולניים

Israel native plants, Withania somnifera, Physalis somnifera, Common Winter-cherry, Sleepy nightshade,سم الفراخ ,ויתניה משכרת

Life form:  Chamaephyte
Stems:  30-150 cm tall, pubescent with dendritic hairs; woody proximally, erect or reclining, branched, tomentose
Leaves:  Alternate; ovate, obovate, or oblong; entire, dentate or serrate
Flowers:  Corolla bell-shaped with 3-6 yellow-green lobes; yellow petals on the inside but with a green outer-covering layer
Fruits / pods:  Berry, shiny, red, globose, 5-8 mm, in papery protective covering (calyx)
Flowering Period:  Summer
Habitat:  Rich soils, ruderal
Distribution:  The Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Deserts and extreme deserts
Phytogeo:  Med - Irano-Turanian
Summer shedding:  perenating

Native plants of Palestine


Derivation of the botanical name:
Withania for withanine, the main constituents of this plant.
somnifera, somnifer, sleep bringing ; meaning sleep inducing The name ashwagandha (one of the common names for this herb) comes from the sanskrit meaning "horse-like-smell". Apparently, this name not only refers to the smell of the herb but also its strengthening and aphrodisiac qualities. It is sometimes called “Indian Ginseng”.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • The standard author abbreviation Dunal is used to indicate Michel Felix Dunal (1789 – 1856), a French botanist. He was professor of botany in Montpellier, France.
The roots and berries of the plant are used in herbal medicine.

Withania somnifera, Physalis somnifera, Common Winter-cherry, Sleepy nightshade, سم الفراخ ,ויתניה משכרת, Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng
Location: Maagan Kibbutz Holiday Village - Sea of Galilee