Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Calophyllum apetalum Willd., Ges. Naturf. Freunde Berlin Mag. 5: 79. 1811, p.p. C. decipiens Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 1: t. 106. 1839 & Ill. Ind. Bot. 1: 128. 1840, non Thwaites, 1858. C. wightianum Wallich ex Planch. & Triana in Ann. Sci. Nat. ser 4,15: 256. 1861; T. Anderson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 274. 1874. C. spurium Choisy in DC. Mem. Soc. Phys. Hist. Nat. Paris 1: 229. 1823. C. calaboides G. Don, Gen. Hist. 1: 622.1831.

Guj.: Sarpuna; Kan.: Irai or Holehonne, Kull-ponne, Kalpoon,(kiri-honne; Mal.: Cherupinna, Attupunna, Katta-punna, Pora-punna, Manja-punna; Mar.: Bobbi; Sans.: Jothishmathi; Tam.: Siru-binnai, Cherupinnei, Sirupunna; Eng.: The Poon spar of Travancore.

Trees, up to 30 m tall; bole cylindrical, 30 cm in girth; wood pale reddish-white to reddish-brown with darker streaks and characteristic odour, moderately heavy; bark yellowish, very thick and characteristic with boat-shaped furrows and lenticels; exudate white, sticky or yellowish resinous fluid, branchlets glabrous, often pruinose, 2 - 4 cm across, internodes 0.5 - 2 cm long; terminal buds plump, 3 - 6.5 mm long, hairy, uppermost pair of axillary buds rounded, ca 0.5 mm long. Leaves 5 - 20 x 2.5 - 5 cm, ovate, obovate or oblong to elliptic, subtruncate to rounded to rarely acute to cuneate at base, usually abruptly narrowed at very base, obtuse-retuse or emarginate at apex, slightly recurved along margins, shiny on both surfaces, glabrous, rigidly coriaceous; venation close, veins most prominent on lower surface, midrib obscure towards apex, prominent beneath, lateral veins 5 - 9, at an acute angle with midrib (50 - 65°),5 mm apart; petioles 6 mm long, deeply canaliculate above, almost glabrous. Racemes 4 - 7 cm long, axillary from the upper foliate axils and sometimes from scars of defoliated axils, shorter than leaves, 5 - 13-flowered, glabrous to slightly puberulous towards base when young; peduncles ca 1 cm long, slender. Flowers white, 1 - 2.5 cm in diam., bisexual; bracts ca 4 mm long, ovate or boat-shaped, caducous, near the insertion of pedicel on racemes; pedicels slender, 7 - 15 mm long, glabrous. Sepals 4, rarely 3, prominently veined, membranous, deflexed, subequal, biseriate, ovate or 2 outer 3.5 - 6 x 3.3 - 5.5 mm, broadly ovate to orbicular, two inner 6 - 9 x 3.5 - 5 mm, boat-shaped, elliptic to obovate, white, petaloid. Petals absent, rarely 2, 4 or 5, small caducous during anthesis. Stamens numerous (40 - 85),many seriate; filaments ca 5 mm long, almost free; anthers 1.3 - 2.5 mm long, oblong, rounded or mucronulate at apex. Ovary ca 1.5 mm long; styles flexuous, ca 3.5 mm long, longer than stamens; stigmas peltate, ca 3-radiate with crenulate margin or entire, 1 - 1.5 mm across. Drupes 1 - 2 x 1 cm, ovoid, elliptic or ellipsoid, apiculate or not, smooth, red when ripe, drying greyish-green; stone 7.5 - 13 x 5 - 7 mm, ovoid to ellipsoid, smooth.

Fl. & Fr. Sept. - May.

Distrib. India: Common along the banks of rivers and streams in evergreen forests and backwaters on west coast at low elevations up to 600 m, sometimes up to 1300 m. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


Notes. Sometimes the edges of the leaves are transformed into large, hollow, irregularly shaped, winged galls. Wood is durable, used for construction, bridges, boats, oil-mills, cabinet work, building purposes and also for making match boxes. Seed oil greenish-yellow with a characteristic odour and bitter taste, used for treating rheumatism, leprosy, as fuel for lamps and as septic poison. The resin is used as a vulnerary, resolutive and anodyne. Ripe fruits are sweet and eaten locally.

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