Withania somnifera, also known as ashwagandha, Indian ginseng,poison gooseberry, or winter cherry, is a plant in the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Several other species in the genus Withania are morphologically similar. It is used as a herb in Ayurvedic medicine.
It grows as a short shrub (35–75 cm) with a central stem from which branches extend radially in a star pattern (stellate) and covered with a dense matte of wooly hairs (tomentose). The flowers are small and green, while the ripe fruit is orange-red and has milk-coagulating properties. The plant's long, brown, tuberous roots are used for medicinal purposes.