Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Calophyllum inophyllum L., Sp. Pl. 513. 1753; T. Anderson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 273. 1874. C. bintagor Roxb., Fl. Ind. 2: 606. 1832. C. blumei Wight, Ill. Ind. Bot. 1: 128. 1840.

Beng.& Hindi: Sultana champa; Guj. (Kutch): Umi Kan.: Vuma, Nonne Or Honne; Mal.: Pinna Of Punna; Mar.: Undi, Surangi, Wumaka; Or.: Poonang; Sans.: Nagchampa, Panch-kasara, Tam.: Pinai; Tel: Poona or Puna; Eag.: The Dielo au Tree, The Alexandrian Laurel.

Trees, up to 20 m tall with spreading crown; trunk 1.5 m in girth, wood reddish- white to brown, heavy; bark brown to pale grey (blackish) and fawn, smooth, often mottled with wide boat-shaped fissures; exudate milky or yellow, clear, very sticky; branchlets compressed or slightly flattened, glabrous; internodes (0.4 -) 1 - 3 (- 5) cm long; terminal buds 4 - 10 mm long, nearly triangular, plump, finely rusty tomentose. Leaves variable ill size, 15 - 20 x 5 - 9 cm, broadly elliptic-oblong or obovate, often broadest a little above middle, cuneate to rounded and finally dccurrent at base, rounded or shallowly emarginate, retuse or subacute at apex, thinly coriaceous, dark green, glabrous, shiny; midrib prominent below, venation distinct, close, raised on both surfac:es giving the blade a striate appearance; lateral veins 4 - 20, ca 5 mm apart; petioles 1 - 1.5 cm long, sometimes longer, glabrous, stout, flat. Racemes 5 - 13 cm long, axillary, 5 - is-flowered, glabrous. Flowers polygamous, bisexual, ca 2 cm in diam., marble white, fragrant; bracts 3 - 4 mm long, ovate, soon deciduous; pedicels (1-) 1.5 - 4.5 (- 6.3) cm long, glabrous. Sepals 4, reflexed, 2 outer ones 5.5 - 10 x 4.5 - 8 mm, ovate to suborbicular, concave, inner petaloid, 9 - 15 x 7.5 - 10 mm, subelliptic. Petals usually 4 (or 3 - 5), reflexed, 9 - 16 x 5 - 10 mm, obovate to elliptic or oblong, rarely glabrous. Stamens numerous, (175 -) 210 - 360 (- 440); filaments creamy, 5 - 7 mm long, connate up to 2 mm into 4 - 6 bundles; anthers 0.7 - 2 mm long, rounded or retuse at apex, yellow when young, brownish at maturity. Ovary 1.5 - 3.5 mm long, depressed globose, stipitate, pink or light purple after pollination; styles much longer than ovary, 4.5 - 9 mm long, twisted; stigmas peltate, 3 - 5-radiate, 0.7 - 2 mm across. Drupes ca 2.5 - 5 x 2.5 - 4 cm, globose or spherical to obovoid, shortly apiculate, smooth, yellowish, brownish-green or pale brownish ochraceous, pulpy; pericarp thick; stone ca 2 cm in diam., subspherical, rounded at apex, smooth, basal plug 4 - 10 mm long.

Fl. & Fr. Dec. - Oct.; probably flowers throughout the year with several flushes.

Distrib. India: A littoral species, common on sandy coast and laterite soils just above the high tide line, sometimes up to 200 m often leaning out over sea. Orissa, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands.

Tropical E. Africa to Taiwan, the Ryukyu & Live Islands and New Caledonia; native of East Africa, often planted within and outside the limits.

Notes. Cultivated as an ornamental and for shade throughout India. The timber is durable under water and is used for making knees for boats, railway sleepers, for construction and for domestic vessels and bowls etc. Seed oil known variously as Wundi, Pinnay, Domba or Dilo oil, is used in medicine (skin diseases and rheumatism), for burning, for painting wood and also as a lubricant, a substitute for castor oil. It also produces the genuine Mariae Balsam and the yellowish-green resin, 'Tacamahaca' the gum from wounded bark is used as a purgative and an emetic and applied to wounds and ulcers. The leaves soaked in water are applied to inflamed eyes. The decoction of Bowers is given to cure syphilis, eczema and insanity. Fruits eaten by bats and squirrels. Bark boiled in water is used for dyeing fish nets.

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