Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Garcinia rubro-echinata Kosterm. in Ceylon J. Sci. (Biol. Sci.) 12(2): 128. 1977. G. echinocarpa Gamble, Man. Ind. Timb. 53. 1901 & Fl. Pres. Madras 73: 1915, non Thwaites, 1854. G. echinocarpa var. monticola Mahesh. in Bull. Bot. Surv. India 6: 126. 1965.

Mal.: Para or pura; Tam.: Madul

Trees, ca 15 - 20 m tall with cylindrical, smooth, dark-brown bole; bark dark red, smooth with numerous, small lenticels, when cut exudes white latex; wood dark red, hard, very heavy; branchlets thick, apically quadrangular, compressed, glabrous. Leaves 8 - 15 x 3 - 8 cm, nearly ovate, obovate, oblong to broadly elliptic, narrowed at base, obtuse or subretuse at apex, thickly coriaceous, margin revolute, midrib flattened above except basal part, lateral veins 30 - 40 pairs, obliquely parallel, prominent; petioles 1 - 2.5 cm long, stout. Male flowers: Axillary or terminal, pale yellow, subtended by rather large bracts. Sepals 4, up to 6 mm long, orbicular, subcordate or obtuse, thick, very fleshy. Petals 4, yellow, almost twice as long as sepals, suborbicular to oblong, suboblique, fleshy. Stamens connate into a short, quadrangular stalk; filaments short; anthers linear-oblong, bilocular, dehiscence vertical, laterally introrse. Rudimentary pistil absent. Female flowers: Terminal, solitary, with bracts at base, slightly larger than male flowers, similar otherwise. Staminodes uniseriate, connate into a ring at base. Ovary 3 - 4-locular, covered with numerous, imbricate, fleshy scales or warts; stigmas peltate, irregularly lobed. Berries 3 - 6 x 2.5 - 4 cm, subglobose or ellipsoid, dark red, covered with spines or broad tubercles, fleshy, short, 1 - 3-seeded; pericarp 3 - 5 mm thick; persistent stigma hemispherical, ca 8 mm long, papillose. Seeds up to 4 cm long, oblong, with scanty aril.

Fl. & Fr. Feb. - July.

Distrib. India: In moist evergreen forests between 900 and 1830 m. Southern Western Ghats. Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


Notes. The seed oil is used for illuminating purposes and in soap and candle making. The leaves and bark are used in cases of dropsical affections and also as a vermifuge.

This species differs from G. echinocarpa Thwaites of Sri Lanka in having larger flower, fleshy yellow petals (as against thin pale green), large, dark red fruits with a thick pericarp (as against small, pale green with very thin pericarp).

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