Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Camellia lutescens Dyer in Fl. Brit. India 1: 293. 1874.

Shrubs, up to 3 m high; stems and branches glabrous. Leaves 5 - 10 x 2 - 4 cm, elliptic-oblong or oblanceolate, cuneate to rounded at base, caudate-acuminate at apex, closely serrate, membranous, glabrous or sometimes midvein puberulous; petioles 5 - 6 mm long, pubescent. Flowers white, turning yellowish, axillary or terminal, sessile, ca 3 cm in diam., fragrant. Sepals perulate, 2 - 5 x 2 - 5 mm, orbicular to lunate, glabrous outside, pubescent inside, persistent at least in young fruit. Petals 6, outer 4, 8 - 10 x 6 - 8 mm, oblong, inner 2, ca 10 x 6 mm, glabrous. Stamens 4 - 5 mm long, outer filaments connate to form a fleshy irregular cup, glabrous. Ovary ca 2.5 x 2.5 mm, globose, villous; styles 3, very short, free; stigmas capitate. Capsules ca 2 mm in diam., globose, blackish.

Fl. & Fr. Nov. - Feb.

Distrib. India: Eastern Himalayas, in subtropical forests at 1800 m. Arunachal Pradesh.

Myanmar and Indo-China.

Notes. It was first collected by Griffith in 1836 from Mishmi hills of Arunachal Pradesh and it has not been collected since then. Being a wild relative of the Tea Plant (Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze) demands location and conservation of this species for future tea improvement research.

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