Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Garcinia xanthochymus Hook. r., in Fl. Brit. India 1: 269.1874. Xanthochymus pictorius Roxb., Pl. Corom. 2: 51, t. 196. 1805. 1789. Xanthochymus tinctorius DC., Prodr, 1: 562.1824, 'pictorius'. G. tinctoria (DC.) W.F. Wight in U.S. Dep. Agric. Bur. Pl. Indus. Bull. 137: 50. 1909, excl. G. malabarica Desr.; Dunn in Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 74. 1915. G. pictorius (Roxb.) D'Arcy in Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 6: 998. 1980.

Asm.: Tepor, Tepol-tenga; Beng.: Chalata, Tamal; Guj.: Karamala, Ota; Garo: Aruak or Arak; Hindi: Dampel, Tamal; Kan.: Devagarige, Gansargi, Deavkai, Javangi or Janagi, Devangi; Kh.: Deing-soh-ryn-san, Dieng-soh-Khyllung; Kon.: Dhanambe; Mal.: Anavya; Mar.: Jharambi, Dharambo, Ota; Or.: Cheoro, Sitambu, Chiuri; Tam.: Kulavi, Malaippachai, Mukki, Tamalam; Tel.: Ivarumidi or Iwara mamadi, Chitakamaraku, Tamalamu; Eng.: Mysore Gamboge.

Trees, 15 - 20 m tall, with a beautiful dense pyramidal crown; branches patent, ends drooping, 6 - 8-angular, often dilated just below nodes; wood yellowish-brown to dark greyish-brown, very hard; bark blackish or dark grey, exfoliating in small round flakes exuding gum; latex milky or pale green, turning yellow on exposure. Leaves very variable in shape and size, 12 - 45 x 4 - 12 cm, linear-oblong or oblong-lanceolate, cuneate at base, acute to acuminate at apex, subrepand, coriaceous, dark green, shiny; lateral veins 15 - 20 pairs, 6 - 12 mm apart, distinct, subparallel, arched, anastomosing at apex, laxly reticulated; petioles 1- 2.5 cm long, rugose, angular, thick, stout; stipules fleshy, adnate, intrapetiolar, covering terminal bud. Inflorescences axillary or from the axils of fallen leaves, fascicles 4 - 10-flowered. Flowers ca 1.5 - 2 cm in diam., white or cream-coloured; pedicels variable, fleshy, thickened towards apex, 2 - 2.5 cm long, longer in female flowers; bracts minute, suborbicular, red; bracteoles 2, minute, ca 1 mm long. Sepals 5, rarely 4, often the fifth sepal disarranged and scale-like, orbicular, concave, fleshy, unequal; outer 2, 4 - 6 mm long, inner 3, 7 - 8 mm long, membranous, fimbriate, persistent. Petals 5, ca 7 - 9 mm long, greenish-white, thin, shortly clawed, somewhat ciliate, veined. Male flowers: stamens 15 - 20 in 5 broad, up to 13 mm long, bundles of 3 - 5 each, antipetalous, alternating with 5 fleshy glands; anthers on short filaments near forked apices of bundles. Rudimentary pistil absent. Female flowers: staminodes few, in an interrupted ring. Ovary ovoid, acuminate, greenish-white; styles very short; stigmatic rays 5, oblong, spreading, entire, peltate, persistent. Berries ca 6.5 cm in diam., subglobose, pointed, point ca 2 - 3 mm long, pulpy, dark yellow with abundant yellow gum; peduncle ca 3 cm long. Seeds 1 - 4, oblong, 3.5 x 1.8 cm, brown.

Fl. & Fr. Throughout the year.

Distrib. India: In evergreen, semievergreen, moist deciduous and in the lower hill forests up to 1400 m. Sikkim, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya, Orissa, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andaman &. Nicobar Islands(Andaman Islands).

Bangladesh, Myanmar, China, Thailand and Malay Peninsula; sometimes cultivated.

Notes. The acidic, pleasant fruits are edible, though not very palatable and are used for making sherbets, medicaments, preserves and jams. The gum resin from the stem, bark and fruit make a good water colour (gamboge) used in dyeing. About 4 year old seedlings are useful as rootstock for grafting and inarching mangosteen; sometimes grown in gardens as an ornamental tree for its dense foliage.

The name Xanthochymus tinctorius Roxb. published in De Candolle's Prodr. 1: 562, 1824 was a misprint for X. pictorius Roxb. (Pl. Corom. 2: 51, t. 196. 1805 non Garcinia pictoria Roxb.) and hence the resulting new combinations under Garcinia were superfluous, so also Garcinia pictorius (Roxb.) D'Arcy (in Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 6: 998. 1980) which was-based on erroneous interpretation.

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