Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Balanites roxburghii Planchon in Ann. Sc. Nat. Bot. ser. 4. 2: 258. 1854; A.W. Bennett in Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 522. 1875. B. aegyptiaca auct. non (L.) Del. 1813: Basak in Fasc. Pl. India 4: 20. 1980.

Beng.: Hingan,· Guj.: Angario, Hingariyo, Ingorio, Regorea; Hindi: Hingan, Hingot, Hingua; Mar.: Hingunabet,· Sans.: Ingudi,· Tam.: Nanjunda; Tel.: Gari.

Bushy shrubs or small trees, armed, deciduous, 3 - 5 m high; bark whitish, bitter; young parts pubescent; thorns up to 6 cm long, simple or forked or with smaller spines, often bearing leaves and flowers. Leaflets 2, elliptic-oblong or obovate-oblong or oblanceolate, rounded or cuneate at base, obtuse or acute or rarely mucronate at apex, 1 - 5 x 1 - 3 cm, glaucous green, pubescent; petiolules 3 - 5 mm long. Flowers pale-greenish yellow, fragrant, 4 - 12, in axillary fascicled cymes; pedicels 5 - 15 mm long, pubescent. Sepals 5, imbricate, elliptic-ovate, ca 3 mm long, densely pubescent outside, long silky hairy inside. Petals 5, elliptic-oblong, glabrous outside, silky hairy inside. Stamens 10, 2 - 3 mm long; filaments 15 - 2 mm long. Ovary globose, ca 2 mm across; style ca 1 mm long. Drupes ovoid or subspherical, 5-grooved, 3 - 6 x 2 - 4 cm, puberulous, yellow when ripe with foetid smelling pulp; seeds solitary, stony with fibrous testa.

Fl. & Fr. Almost throughout the year.

Distrib. India: Throughout in scrub forests, deciduous forests and sandy coasts. Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, W. Bengal, Sikkim, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh,Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Pakistan and Myanmar.

Notes. Planchon (l.c.) bases his name B. roxburghii on Ximenia agyptiaca sensu Roxb. (1832) and considers it distinct from X. aegyptiaca L. (1753). He points out that B. roxburghii differs from African B. aegyptiaca (L.) Del. in petals being villous on inner surface (Sprauge in Bull. Misc. Inform. 1913: 135. 1913). The former also differs from latter in having shorter petiolule. Further, the ovary does not lengthen out after flowering. Hence treated as a distinct species here.

Uses. Pulp of fruit is edible and used for cleansing silk and cotton and for whooping cough. Bark used as anthelmintic for cattle and its juice used as fish poison; wood used for making walking sticks and other parts as fuel. Fruits are made into garlands for cows and other animals.

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