Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Maerua apetala (Roth) Jacobs in Blumea 12(2): 207. 1964. Capparis apetala Roth, Nov. Pl. Sp. Ind. Or. 238.1821. Niebuhria linearis DC., Prodr. 1: 244. 1824; Hook. f. & Thomson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 171. 1872. N. apetala (Roth) Dunn in Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 41. 1915.


Tam.: Iruvalli: Tel.: Lukki-chettu, Nemali-adugu (Chenchu & Lambadi tribals).

Trees, up to 4 m tall, glabrous. Leaves (1 - 2) 3 - 5- foliolate; leaflets ovate, elliptic-oblong, linear or linear-lanceolate, tapering at base, acute or rarely retuse and mucronate at apex, 5 -10 x 0.3 - 3.2 cm, subcoriaceous; lateral nerves 3 - 6 pairs; secondary nerves obscure; petioles 4 - 12 cm long; petiolules 6 - 8 mm long. Racemes terminal, lax, 5 - 12 (-20)-flowered; flowers fragrant, green or white, purple tinged, on 2 - 3 cm long pedicels. Calyx-tube greenish, 1.2 - 1.5 cm long, 0.8 - 1 cm thick; lobes ovate, puherulous along margins. Petals absent. Stamens ca 30; filaments pinkish, shorter than gynophore. Gynophore 2 - 2.8 cm long, elongating up to 4 cm while fruiting, hardly incrassate. Ovary ovoid, 2.5 x 1 mm, 1-loculed with 2 placentae. Berries oblong, ovoid, 1 - 2-ridged, 1.5 - 1.8 cm long, ca 1 cm thick. Seeds 1 (3 - 5), embedded in scarlet pulp, muricate, ca 6 mm across, white.

Fl. Jan. - April; Fr. March - Aug.

Distrib. India: Scrub forests and dry regions, from sea level to 300 m, scattered and infrequent. Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu,

Endemic.

Notes. A paste of root bark is applied for leucoderma and the extract given orally for the same by Chenchus and Lambadis of Andhra Pradesh. Tender leaves ground with spices and the paste made into pills are given orally for nervous disorders and foot pains by Chenchus.

In Vajravelu 24719 (MH) leaflets vary from 3 - 5. Though the laminae of leaflets are usually ovate, occasionally they are linear-Ianceolate and up to 7 cm long and 2 - 3 mm wide. Fruits are generally 1-seeded, but in Ramamurthy 21000 (MH) the berries are lager, up to 3 cm long, 1.5 cm thick and 4 - 5-seeded.





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