Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Trees or shrubs, usually symmetrical glabrous; latex in branches, bark and fruits often yellow, sometimes white, resinous, thick, sticky, abundant; stems straight with horizontal or pendulous, usually opposite branches; wood moderately hard, yellowish- white, red or grey. Leaves opposite or rarely ternate, simple, entire, coriaceous or submembranous, more or less lanceolate or oblong, very rarley stipulate, usually glabrous; midrib prominent; lateral nerves irregular with short parallel ones in between; petioles thin with raised margin; new leaves appear in flushes at intervals. Flowers solitary or in cymes, usually small, heterochlamydeous, 4 - 5-merous; female or pseudobisexual flowers always lesser in number. Sepals 4, decussate or 5 (- 6) imbricate, usually persistent. Petals 4, seldom 5, alternate with sepals, imbricate or contorted. Male flowers: Stamens numerous, rarely few and definite, free or connate into 1 - 5 bundles or phalanges or in a central entire or 4 - 5-lobed mass or column, usually surrounding a rudimentary pistil; anthers various, erect or peltate, sessile or on short thick filaments, 2-loculed, rarely 4 - many-loculed, dehiscing by longitudinal slits, pores or circumscissile; rudimentary pistil variously formed or absent. Female flowers usually solitary and larger than male flowers; staminodes minute, free or united, in a single row with filaments connate into a ring at base or in short bundles or phalangcs; ovary 2 - 12-loculed; ovules erect or lateral; styles very short or absent; stigmas lobed or furrowed with as reany lobes as locules of ovary (2 - 12) or stigmatic mass marginally incised, smooth or papillate. Fruit a fleshy berry with coriaceous rind, 1 - 12-seeded. Seeds oblong or ovoid, embedded in whitish, juicy pulp which may be taken as aril or arillode.

Tropics of the Old World, especially Asia and Africa; ca 200 species; 35 in India.

Literature. MAHESHWARI,J.K. (1965). Taxonomic studies on Indian Guttiferae III. The genus Garcinia Linn. s.l. Bull. Bot. Surv. India 6: 107 - 135, tt. 1 - 3.

Notes. Malesia and Africa with large number of endemic species appear to be its two main centres of development. 17 species are endemic in India, of which 7 are in Western Ghats, 6 in Andaman & Nicobar Islands and 4 in north-east India. They prefer evergreen and semievergreen forests but some thrive in relatively low rainfall area. However, none have so far reached even the foot of Western Himalayas. Many species are now cultivated worldwide including 3 in India. These are some of the slowest growing tropical trees known. Parthenocarpy is reported in some species. The flowers of most wild species appear to be nocturnal with strong odour. Dispersal is mostly by arboreal mammals. Some species are valued for their timber and some for pigment called 'Gamboge', resin of some is medicinal, fruits of several species are edible, sometimes considered as a delicacy and are very tasty besides many species have beautiful flowers and foliage.


1a. Sepals and petals 5, or rarely petals 4 or sepals 6 2
b. Sepals and petals always 4 7
2a. Flowers larger in axillary umbels, 18 - 27 mm in diam.; stigmatic lobes 3 32. Garcinia talbotii
b. Flowers smaller, in axillary fascicles, usually under 18 mm in diam.; stigmatic lobes or rays 5, rarely 6 3
3a. Flowers ca 8 mm in diam.; sepals and petals always 5; rudimentary pistil in male flowers, if present fungiform with a narrow base and capitate apex 3. Garcinia andamanica
b. Flowers more than 10 mm in diam.; sepals and petals sometimes variable; rudimentary pistil in male flowers mostly absent; if rarely present, non-fungiform, short and cylindrical 4
4a. Branchlets twiggy, slender, often 6-ribbed; ovary 3 - 4-locular 30. Garcinia spicata
b. Branchlets somewhat thick, compressed, 4 - 6-gonous or winged on drying; ovary 5-locular, rarely less 5
5a. Petioles short, ca 1 - 1.5 cm long; pedicels ca 1 cm long; sepal tips not ciliate; petals ovate, almost closed; berries ellipsoid, ca 3 x 2 cm 10. Garcinia dulcis
b. Petioles 1 - 5 cm long; pedicels ca 1.5 - 5 cm long; sepal tips ciliate; petals orbicular, expanded; berries globose or subglobose, ca 6.5 cm in diam. or more 6
6a. Leaves up to 45 cm long; petioles 1 - 2.5 cm long; pedicels ca 2.5 cm long; berries ea 6.5 cm in diam. 35. Garcinia xanthochymus
b. Leaves 30 - 60 cm long; petioles 2.5 - 5 cm long; pedicels 1.5 - 5 cm long; berries more than 6.5 cm diam 24. Garcinia nervosa
7a. Flowers always in fascicles; petals 3 times the size of sepals 7. Garcinia cadelliana
b. Flowers either in fascicles, panicles or solitary; petals not more than 2 times the size of sepals (except 3 times in G. sopsopia) 8
8a. Anther dehiscence longitudinal, pyriform or by 2 short clefts; rudimentary pistil vanous, often fungiform; ovaty bi- to multilocular; stigma smooth or rough, entire or lobed 9
b. Anther dehiscence transverse, circumscissile, or by 2 or 4 clefts; rudimentary pistil absent or minute; ovary tri- to multilocular; stigma rough or glandular, lobed 23
9a. Ovary bilocular 10
b. Ovary tri- to multilocular 14
10a. Ovary tri- to multilocular 31. Garcinia stipulata
b. Leaves exstipulate with less than 1 cm long petioles; berries globose or ellipsoid, much shorter, if longer, then much stouter 11
11a. Leaves oblong; female inflorescences 5 - 6-flowered 15. Garcinia keenania
b. Leaves not oblong; female inflorescences 1 - 3 -flowered 12
12a. Leaves 10 - 20 cm long; female inflorescences 3-flowered; berries ca 4.2 x 3.5 cm 4. Garcinia anomala
b. Leaves less than 12 cm long; female flowers solitary or geminate; berries less than 2.5 cm in diam.; 13
13a. Leaf apices acuminate, base narrowed; petioles ca 3 (- 5) mm long; stamens ca 16 in a globose mass around pistillode; staminodes also ca 16 in a ring around ovary; berries globose, ca 2.5 cm in diam.; trees 13. Garcinia imbertii
b. Leaf apices long obtuse or notched, base acute; petioles ca 5 - 10 mm long; stamens indefinite in 4 distinct bundles; staminodes few, opposite to petals; berries ellipsoid, ca 12 x 8 - 9 mm; shrubs or small trees 21. Garcinia merguensis
14a. Shrubs; male flowers solitary, terminal, on tetragonous rather thick pedicels 17. Garcinia kurzii
b. Trees; male flowers usually more than 1 on rather thin pedicels (rarely thick, stout in 15
15a. Male flowers in terminal, pedunculate, bracteate, trichotomous, 8 - 12 -flowered panicles, on 6 - 7 cm long stout pedicels; stigmatic rays 8 - 11; berries 8 - 12-locular, round, smooth, large, 7 - 11 cm in diam. and weighing ca 0.9 kg each 25. Garcinia pedunculata
b. Male flowers various, in cymes and fascicles but not as above, on much shorter and slender pedicels; stigmatic rays less in number or stigma otherwise; berries small, not as above 16
16a. Male flowers more than 2.5 cm in diam.; berries more than 5 cm in diam. 17
b. Male flowers less than 2.5 cm in diam.; berries less than 3 cm in diam. 20
17a. Male flowers in terminal clusters of few-flowered cymes, blood red, ca 3 cm in diam., with stamens forming a globose mass; female flowen with 12 - 16-locular ovary and undulate, thick. stigma; berries yellowish-green 8 - 10 cm in diam. 5. Garcinia atroviridis
b. Male flowers in terminal fascicles of 3 - 9, yellowish-red or yellow, ca 3 - 5 cm in diam., with stamens in 4-lobed masses; female or bisexual flowers with 4 - 8-locular ovary and 5 - 8-lobed or crenate stigma; berries less than 8 cm in diam. 18
18a. Male flowers bracteate; bisexual flowers with 18 - 20 mm long pedicels and many stamens; berries globose, ca 7 cm in diam., dark purplish-brown 0
b. Male flowers ebracteate; female flowers with shorter, less than 10 mm long pedicels and without stamens or staminodes; berries less than 7 cm in diam. 19
19a. Leaves 4 - 18 cm long, ovate-elliptic, obtuse and short acuminate at apex, acute or subacute at base; male flowers with obovate petals; staminal phalanges opposite sepals and unlobed rudimentary pistil; ovary 4-locular; stigma broad, shallowly 5 - 7-crenate, glandular 2. Garcinia affinis
b. Leaves oblong or elliptie-oblong, narrowed at both ends; 15 - 25 cm long, male flowers with rotundate, slightly clawed petals; staminal masses opposite to petals and rudimentary pistil with broad, blunt lobes; ovary 6 - 8-locular; stigma convex, 6 - 8-lobed 29. Garcinia speciosa
20a. Male flowers ca 1 cm in diam.; stigma entire 21
b. Male flowers ca 2.5 cm in diam.; stigma rayed or lobed 22
21a. Male flowers bracteate, petals almost as long as sepals; female flowers 4 - 10 in umbellate cymes and without staminodes 6. Garcinia brevirostris
b. Male flowers ebracteate, petals twice as long as sepals; female flowers solitary or geminate, with free staminodes 33. Garcinia travancorica
22a. Male flowers with 15 mm long pedicels, staminal lobes opposite petals and rudimentary pistil unlobed 16. Garcinia kingii
b. Male flowers with 5 - 10 mm long pedicels, staminal lobes opposite to sepals and rudimentary pistil 8-lobed 12. Garcinia hombroniana
23a. Male flowers in terminal panicles; female nowers in terminal spicate racemes; leaves 13 - 20 cm long 28. Garcinia sopsopia
b. Male and female flowers 1 - 3 or in axillary and terminal fascicles or umbels; leaves less than 15 cm long 24
24a. Male flowers usually 1 - 3; stamens usually definite (except in G. loniceroides and G. morella); berries generally smooth 25
b. Male flowers many; stamens usually indefinite, sometimes less and definite; berries generally grooved or lobed (rarely smooth in G. indica) 31
25a. Stamens in male flowers less than 20 26
b. Stamens in male flowers more than 20 28
26a. Stigmas small, verrucose; leaves lanceolate or elliptic-oblong, acuminate to cuspidate 1. Garcinia acuminata
b. Stigmas large, 4-lobed, coronate; leaves not as above 27
27a. Leaves lincar-lanceolate, obtusely acuminate, thick, with 16-20 pairs of lateral veins 34. Garcinia wightii
b. Leaves elliptic, abruptly and shortly caudate-acuminate or subacute, thin, with 8 - 10 pairs of lateral veins 8. Garcinia calycina
28a. Leaves elliptic to elliptic-oblong, lanceolate or obovate, 3.5 cm broad; petioles 8 - 20 mm long; stigmas smooth or tubercled 29
b. Leaves narrowly lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, 2.5 cm or less broad; petioles up to 12 mm long; stigmas tubercled or tuberculately wrinkled 30
29a. Leaves with 7 - 8 pairs of lateral veins; petioles 1 - 2 cm long; pedicels 6 mm long; stigmas minute, dot-like, smooth; berries 4 - 5 cm in diam., 2 or more seeded 22. Garcinia microstigma
b. Leaves with 8 - 12 pairs of lateral veins; petioles usually under 1 cm long; flowers almost sessile; stigmas large, 4-lobed, tuberculate; berries 2 - 3 cm in diam., 4-seeded 23. Garcinia morella
30a. Male flowers 1 - 2, sessile, with more than 20 stamens; petioles 5 - 12 mm long 19. Garcinia lanceaefolia
b. Male flowers usually 3, rarely more, with ca 4 - 5 mm long pedicels and numerous stamens; petioles ca 6 mm long 20. Garcinia loniceroides
31a. Leaves obovate, oblong or ovate-oblong to lanceolate; male flowers in umbels or heads; staminodes not in bundles, clusters or fascicles 32
b. Leaves obovate-oblong, oblong or elliptic to lanceolale; male flowers in fascicles; staminodes in bundles, clusters or fascicles 33
32a. Male flowers in sessile heads, with 12 - 40 stamens; ovary covered with fleshy scales; stigmas peltate; berries subglobose or ellipsoid, dark red, 3 - 4 -locular, sharply tubercled or echinate 27. Garcinia rubro-echinata
b. Male flowers in pedunculate umbels, with numerous stamens; ovary smooth; stigmas with 6 - 8 spreading, glandular rays; berries globular, dark purple-brown, smooth, with 6 - 8 vertical grooves near apex 18. Garcinia kydia
33a. Bisexual or female flowers up to 5; berries vertically grooved; petals twice the size of sepals 34
b. Female flowers solitary, berries smooth or lobed; petals slightly longer than sepals 35
34a. Leaves oblong, elliptic or lanceolate; stamens 12 - 20 or more, monadelphous; bisexual flowers with 10 - 20 stamens; ovary 8 - 11 -locular; stigmatic rays 8 - 11, coronate; berries up to 7 cm in diam. with 6 - 8 vertical grooves ending about middle, mamillate 11. Garcinia gummi-gutta
b. Leaves broadly lanceolate; stamens numerous; female flowers with staminodes in 4 clusters of 3 - 8; ovary 6 - 8-locular; stigmatic rays 6 - 8, papillose; berries 2 - 4 cm in diam. with 4 - 8 vertical grooves from base to apex, not mamillate 9. Garcinia cowa
35a. Male flowers sessile, aggregated in the axils of fallen leaves with ca 24 stamens closely packed on a fleshy receptacle, anthers circumscissile; staminodes in female flowers ca 24 in 6 - 7-androus fascicles; ovary 4-locular; stigmatic lobes 11 - 13, glandular; berries 3 - 4 -lobed, ca 2 cm in diam. 26. Garcinia pictoria
b. Male flowers 4 - 8, in axillary and terminal fascicles on 6 - 8 mm long pedicels; stamens numerous forming a short, capitate column, anthers dehiscing longitudinally; staminodes in female flowers 10 - 18 in 4 unequal, 2 - 3-seriate phalanges; ovary 4 - 8.locular; stigmatic rays 4 - 8, tuberculate; berries smooth, entire, ca 3 cm in diam. 14. Garcinia indica

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