Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Mesua pulchella Planch. & Triana in Ann. Sci. Nat. ser. 4, 15 : 307. 1861. M.ferrea L. subsp. pulchella Vesque var. pulchella. M. nagassarium (Burm. f.) Kosterm. var. pulchella (Planch. & Triana) Kosterm. in Reinwardtia 7: 427. 1969.

Evergreen trees, up to 25 m tall with enormous buttresses; bark smooth, dark brown or grey, scaly; latex yellow; branchlets slender, terete. Leaves opposite, 7 - 13 x 1.5 - 5.0 cm, ovate or elliptic-oblong, obtuse to conspicuouly rounded at base, cuspidate or acuminate at apex, petiolate, glabrous, coriaceous, concolorous, secondary nerves venulose beneath, slender, laxly reticulate; petioles 6 - 15 mm long. Flowers white, 3 - 5 in axillary fascicles, small, sessile, fragrant. Sepals 4(- 5), in 2 pairs, outer pair 7 - 9 mm long, suborbicular, inner 10 - 11 mm long, orbicular. Petals 4, ca 2 - 5 cm long, cuneate-obovate. Stamens numerous, yellow; filaments 7 - 9 mm long, slender; anthers ca 1.5 mm long, linear. Ovary ca 2 mm long, ovoid, bilocular; styles as long as ovary; stigmas small, peltate. Fruits ovoid to globose, 2.5 - 3 x 3.4 cm with persistent, accrescent sepals. Seeds smooth.

Fl. April; Fr. Dec.

Distrib. India: In moist evergreen forests of Western Ghats. Tamil Nadu (Tirunelveli) and Kerala (Travancore).

Sri Lanka.

Notes. Kostermans (in Dassanayake, Rev. Handb. Fl. Ceylon 1: 110.1980) considers it to be endemic to Sri Lanka but it is found in Peninsular India as well, though rarely.

Timber is valuable and useful like M.ferrea.


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