Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Camellia sinensis (L.) O. Kuntze in Acta Horti Petrop. 10: 195. 1887. Thea sinensis L., Sp. Pl . 515. 1753.


Beng., Hindi & Raj.: Cha, Chai; Tam.: Thayilai; Tel.: Theyaku.

Shrubs or trees, 1 - 6 (- 15); young stems and branches glabrous. Leaves 4 - 18 x 1.5 - 6 cm, elliptic, elliptic-oblong to obovate, cuneate at base, obtuse to shortly cuspidate-acuminate at apex, serrulate to sinuate-serrate, membranous to coriaceous, glabrous above, hairy beneath, ultimately becoming glabrous. Flowers white, axillary, solitary or 2 - 6 in fascicles; pedicels 6 - 10 mm long, ultimately bending downwards; bracteoles 2 - 3, ca 2 mm long, ovate, obtuse, concave, glabrous or velutinous, caducous. Sepals 5 - 6, 3 - 5 x 2 - 3 mm, ovate to orbicular, glabrous or velutinous outside, ciliolate, persistent. Petals 7 - 8, 10 - 15 x 6 - 20 mm, ovate, broadly ovate to orbicular, concave. Stamens 8 - 10 mm long, outer ones connate at base, glabrous, adnate to the base of petals; anthers yellow. Ovary 2 - 5 mm long, 1 - 3-loculed, densely hairy; styles 5 - 7 mm long, 3-fid at apex, glabrous or rarely sparsely hairy. Capsules 10 - 15 x 15 - 25 mm, ovoid to subglobose, 3-seeded. Seeds 10 - 15 mm in diam., globose, glabrous, brown or reddish-brown.



KEY TO THE VARIETIES


1a. Plants up to 15 m tall; leaves elliptic, 7 - 18 x 3 - 6 cm, acuminate at apex, membranous 5.1. assamica
b. Plants up to 6 m tall; leaves oblong, 4 - 10 x 1.5 - 4 cm, abruptly acute at apex, coriaceous 5.2. sinensis


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