Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Abelmoschus moschatus Medikus, Malv. 46. 1787; ampl. Hochr. in Candollea 2: 86. 1924. Hibiscus abelmoschus L., Sp. pl. 696. 1753; Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 342. 1874.

Asm.: Gorukhia-korai; Beng.: Muskdana; Kan.: Kadukasthuri; Mal.: Kattukasthuri; Mar.: Kasturibhendi; Sans.: Lata kasturika; Tel.: Kasturi benda; Tam.: Verttilai kasthuri, Kattukasthuri.

Herbs or undershrubs, up to 3 m high, hirsute all over, rarely glabrous; tap root tuber-like. Leaves extremely variable in shape and size, 4 - 18 x 3 - 20 cm, angular or 3 - 7-palmilobed to palmiparted, upper leaves narrower, often hastate or sagittate; lobes linear, lanceolate, ovate, obovate-oblong, obtuse, acute or acuminate at apex, coarsely serrate to dentate, rarely entire, 5 - 9-nerved at base; petioles 2 - 20 cm long; stipules 5 - 10 mm long, linear to filiform; hairy. Flowers axillary, solitary; pedicels 1.5 - 6 cm, accrescent up to 15 cm. EpicaIyx segments 6 - 10, free 10 - 15 x 1 - 2 mm, linear, persistent. Calyx 1.5 - 3 mm long, stellate-tomentose outside, sericeous inside. Corolla yellow with dark purple centre, ca 10 cm across; petals obovate, rounded at apex, fleshy and ciliate at base. Capsules 4 - 8 x 2.5 cm, ovoid to globose, acuminate with a rostrum of ca 5 mm. Seeds 3 - 4 mm, concentrically ribbed, glabrous or minutely stellate-hairy, often musk scented.

Fl. & Fr. July - Oct.; Fr. Oct. - Dec.

Distrib. India: Throughout up to 1500 m.

Bangladesh, China, Indo-china, Thailand, Maiesia(Malaya Peninsula, Indonesia) and Fiji Islands.

Notes. 'Ambrette seed oil' is extracted by distillation of crushed seeds and it is used in high grade perfumery. The seeds are reported to be used as a flavouring agent for coffee. In India, they are mostly employed as an adulterant for animal musk and in perfume.


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