Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Poeciloneuron indicum Beddome in J. Linn. Soc. 8: 267, t. 17. 1865 & Fl. Sylv. t. 3. 1869; Dyer in Fl. Brit. India 1: 278. 1874.

Kan.: Kirballi, Balagi or Balgi ; Mal.: Vayala or Vayila; Tam.: Puthangkolli Puthankolli Vadinangu.

Large trees, evergreen, gregarious, glabrous, up to 50 m tall; bole clean, straight, 2.5 - 3 m in girth, older trees often buttressed with stilt roots; wood hard, reddish-brown, heavy; bark grey or dark grey to brown, rough; latex yellow; terminal buds enclosed by leaf bases. Leaves 10 - 25 x 4 - 6.5 cm, elliptic, elliptic-oblong or rarely lanceolate, rounded or cuneate at base, obtusely long acuminate at apex, coriaceous, very glossy, dark green; secondary nerves very close, equidistant, curved towards margin; petioles 1 - 4 cm long. Panicles terminal, ca 10 cm long, pyramidally spreading, much branched, minutely puberulous. Flowers ca 2 cm in diam., yellowish-white, creamy or white, fragrant; peduncles and pedicels slightly puberulous; pedicels (0.3 -) 1 - 2 cm long; bracteoles ca 0.5 mm long, triangular. Sepals 5, cleft near to the base, 1.5 - 3 mm long, ovate, imbricate, slightly puberulous outside. Petals 5, 5 - 6 mm long, elliptic to obovate. Stamens ca 20 in 2 whorls; filaments slightly connate at base, ca 0.5 mm long; anthers bright yellow, 2.5 - 3.5 mm long, lobulate or tuberculate, each cell consisting of numerous superposed compartments. Disc below obsolete. Ovary 1- 2 mm long, bilocular, ovules 2 in each locule; styles 2, slender, 2.5 - 3.5 mm long. Capsules ca 2.5 4 cm across, ellipsoid or globose, beaked, ribbed, dull pinkish, 1-seeded, glaucous. Seeds fleshy, ca 2 x 1.5 cm.

Fl. March - May; Fr. Sept. - Dec.

Distrib. India: Common in evergreen forests on the wet slopes in shola forests, often forming clumps, up to 1200 m; usually growing gregariously and luxuriantly, one of the loftiest trees in Southern Western Ghats. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


Notes. Yields good timber especially for railway sleepers, posts, poles, planks, beams, trusses, joints, rafters, for agricultural implements, house construction, bridge building and walking sticks, etc. Root made into a paste in goat milk and taken internally on the first and second day of menstruation acts as an oral contraceptive (Bhatt et al. in Bull. Medico-Ethno-Bot. Res. 3 (2 - 4): 101. 1982.

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