Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Small to medium-sized (rarely larger), evergreen trees; wood pale reddish-brown with chracteristic darker streaks, ornamental, hard, strong and moderately durable; bark smooth with characteristic diamond or boat-shaped, lenticellate fissures on immature trees and longitudinally fissured, anastamosing ridges on mature trees, grey or yellowish-brown, inner bark pink or reddish, laminated with colourless, yellow or milky-white, varnish-like exudate; branchlets generally quadrangular, sometimes flattened; buds puberulous with minute, rusty, uniseriate hairs. Leaves opposite decussate, opposite juveneile stage, simple, entire, glossy, often coriaceous, exstipulate; lateral nerves numerous, slender, close together and parallel usually at right angles to the midrib, but alternating with and usually more prominent than latex canals; petiolate; young leaves usually brightly coloured. Inflorescences copiously produced, axillary or terminal, paniculate or racemose, sometimes fascicled; axes terminated by flowers. Flowers bisexual or polygamous (male & bisexual), pretty, small to medium-sized, hypogynous, usually homochlamydeous, pedicellate (1 -) 3 - numerous; bracts usually deciduous. Perianth lobes 4 - 8, imbricate, tile-like, outer 1 or 2 pairs rarely much different from others. Sepals 2 or 4, decussate. Petals 2 - 4 or more or absent, resembling sepals. Stamens numerous, at most obscurely fasciated; filaments slender, free or slightly connate at base often flexuous; anthers erect, ovate or oblong, bilocular, basifixed, dehiscing longitudinally. Ovary superior, unilocular; ovule solitary, anatropous, basal; styles slender, rather long; stigmas peltate. Fruits drupe-like or an indehiscent drupe; exocarp thin, membranous; mesocarp dry, subspongy (fibrous); endocarp crustaceous (testa consisting of stony layer and usually transient spongy layer). Seed single, erect, globose or ovoid, exalbuminous, radicle on one side; cotyledons large, thick and fleshy, cells filled with oil.

Tropical Asia, with some in America; ca 187 species, 8 species in India.

Literature. MAHESHWARI, J.K. (1960). Taxonomic studies on Indian Guttiferae.1. The genus calophyllum Linn. Bull. Bot. SUN. India 2: 139 - 148, ff. 1.4. tt. 1 - 2. map 1. STEVENS, P.P. (1980). A revision of the old world species of Calophyllum (Guttiferae), J. Arn. Arb. 61: 117 - 699.

Notes. Its chief centre of development is in Malaysia, where as many as 106 species occur. In India 2 species (C. apetalum Willd. and C. austroindium Kosterm. ex P. Stevens) are endemic to the Western Ghats, while others are wides. However, within India 4 species are restricted to Andaman & Nicobar Islands and 1 each to Western Ghats and North-Eastern India. The species yield excellent commercial timber, usually strong and for construction work. In earlier days fine spars for the ship building trade were made from the wood of Calophyllum species. Fruits of some species yield oil used in medicine or for burning purposes.


1a. Leaves more than 25 x 7 cm; fruits large (over 8 x 4 cm) 5. Calophyllum macrocarpum
b. Leaves less than 25 x 7 cm; fruits small (up to 5 x 3 cm) 2
2a. Inflorescences terminal or axillary 6. Calophyllum polyanthum
b. Inflorescences always axillary 3
3a. Lamina usually over 13 x 5 cm; stone generally with a basal plug 4
b. Lamina up to 13 x 5 cm; stone without a plug 5
4a. Lamina with less than 10 lateral veins; petals present; fruits 2.5 - 5 x 2.5 - 4 cm 4. Calophyllum inophyllum
b. Lamina with more than 12 lateral veins; petals absent; fruits 1 - 1.6 x 0.8 - 1 cm 7. Calophyllum soulattri
5a. Terminal buds more than 6.5 mm long; lamina with 12 - 20 lateral veins; pedicels 4 - 6 mm long 3. Calophyllum calaba
b. Terminal buds up to 6.5 mm long; lamina with less than 12 lateral veins, rarely up to 15; pediceis 7 - 25 mm long 6
6a. Sepals always 4; petals absent; lamina less than 2 times longer than broad; terminal buds 3 - 6.5 mm long; internodes 5 - 20 mm long 1. Calophyllum apetalum
b. Sepals 4, rarely 6; petals 4, sometimes 1 - 6; lamina about or over 2 times longer than broad; terminal buds 1.5 - 4 mm long; internodes 5 - 50 mm long 7
7a. Petioles 4 - 14 mm long; fruits 6.5 - 16 mm long; lamina 4 - 13 cm long 8. Calophyllum tetrapterum
b. Petioles 2 - 3.5 mm long; fruits 3 - 3.3 cm long; lamina 3 - 7 cm long 2. Calophyllum austroindicum

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