Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Garcinia spicata (Wight & Arn.) Hook. f. in J. Linn. Soc. 14: 486.1875. Dunn in Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 49. 1915, p.p. Xanthochymus spicatus Wight & Arn., Prodr. 102. 1834. G.ovalifolius (Roxb.) Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 269. 1874 incl. vars. except macrantha, non Oliver, 1868. G. spicata (Wight & Arn.) Hook. f. var. glomerata Vesque in DC., Monogr. Phan. 8: 311. 1893. Stalagmitis ovalifolius G. Don, Gen. Hist. 1: 621, 1831. Xanthochymus ovalifolius Roxb., Fl. Ind. 2: 632. 1832.

Kh.: Dingso Kwang; Mal.: ; Mar.: Haldi, Tavir, Jangali-ramphal; Tam.: Kokottai; Tel.: Pidatha.

Elegant trees, 6 - 20 m tall, rarely more than 20 m; trunk straight; branches spreading Wide; very young twigs and inflorescences, densely minute pubescent; wood yellowish white, smooth, hard, heavy; bark olive-green, brownish or pale brown, thick, smooth, obscurely hoop-ringed; latex white or yellow, sticky, thick, scanty. Leaves 9 - 22 x 4 - 8 cm, ovate, elliptic-oblong, lanceolate or suborbicular, rotundate or obtuse at base, rotundate, obtuse, often emarginate or rarely acute at apex, repand, thickly coriaceous, shiny, smooth; lateral veins, 15 - 18 pairs, slender, prominent, slightly curved, obliquely parallel, transverse veins laxly reticulate; petioles ca 1 - 1.5 cm long, very thick or robust, often pubescent initially with strongly produced margins, bearing stem clasping ligules at base. Flowers pale green or white, in axillary, leafy fascicles or elongated, 10 - 15 cm long, pseudo-spikes; pedicels 6 - 12 mm long, longer in female flowers; bracts many, minute, pilose, at base of flowers. Sepals 4 - 5, half as long as petals, suborbicular, pubescent outside, margin ciliate, outer 2 coriaceous, inner 2 (or 3) larger, membranous, 2.5 - 3 mm long. Petals 5, white, 6 - 7 (- 8.5) mm long. obovate, concave, membranous, veined. Male flowers: Stamens 8 - 10 in each of 5 long-clawed, spathulate bundles opposite to petals, inserted in bays of green, flossy, convex torus; filaments very short, free; anthers few, didymous. Rudimentary pistil absent. Female flowers: staminodes 5, small with weak anthers. Ovary globose; styles short, ca 1 mm long; stigma peltate, thick, 5-lobed; lobes cuneiform. Berries up to 4 cm in diam., broadly oblong, smooth, yellowish, with bad odour; pulp sweet, acidic, bitter after taste, with black, persistent, 2 - 3 mm in diam. stigma. Seeds up to 2.5 cm long, oblong, laterally flattened, 1 - 3.

Fl. & Fr. March - July (- Aug.).

Distrib. India: In Western Ghats, Eastern Coast and north-east India at low elevations. Assam, Meghalaya, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala; sometimes cultivated.

Sri Lanka.

Notes. Yields strong timber used for general construction purposes. The fruits are edible. The sticky pulp of young fruits affords a chrome-yellow pigment. Bark contains the colouring matter 'Fukuji', used as a mordant dyestuff in Japan. A variable species as to the shape of leaves and length of peduncles and pedicels. Both fascicled flowers on very short branchlets and spicate inflorescences occur on the same tree and consequently var. glomerata Vesque cannot be maintained.

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