Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Elaeocarpus sphaericus (Gaertn.) K.Schumann in Engler & Prantl, Nat. Pflanzenfam. 3,6: 5. 1890; Santapau in Rec. Bot. Surv. India 16: 32. 1953. Ganitrus sphaericus Gaertn., Fruct. Sem. Pl. 2: 271, t. 139. 1791, p.p.; Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 1: 66. 1838. Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb. [Hort. Beng. 42. 1814, nom. nud.] ex G. Don, Gen. Hist. 1: 559. 1831; Roxb., Fl. Ind. 2: 592. 1822; Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 400. 1874.


Asm.: Rudrai; Beng.: Rudrakya, Rudraksh; Guj., Hindi, Mal. & Sans.: Rudraksh; Kan.: Rudrakshi; Kh.: Soh Langskei; Tam.: Akkam, Rudrakai; Tel.: Rudrakshalu; Eng.: Wooden begger bead, The Utrasum bead tree.

Trees, 20 - 40 m tall, often buttressed at base; young parts puberulous. Leaves 7 - 15 x 2.5 - 5 cm, oblong-lanceolate, oblanceolate or elliptic, cuneate or acute at base, acute or acuminate at apex, minutely crenate-serrate or subentire, thinly sericeous becoming glabrous, often with glands at the branches of lateral nerves beneath, chartaceous; petioles 1 - 1.5 cm long, sharply margined, pubescent. Racemes 5 - 8 cm long, axillary: drooping, glabrous. Flower-buds ovoid-conical; flowers white, 8 - 10 mm across nodding; pedicels 8 - 9 mm long, hairy. Sepals 6 - 7 mm long, linear-lanceolate or oblong, acuminate, silky canescent outside, 1-ribbed inside. Petals white, 7 - 9 mm long, oblong or obtriangular laciniate, pubescent along margins near base. Stamens 30 - 40; filaments ca 1 mm long, puberulous; anthers 2.5 - 4 mm long, puberulous, acuminate bearing short, white bristles at apex, locules unequal. Ovary globose, silky villous, 4 - 5-loculed, rarely 1 - 4 or 6 - 10-loculed; styles longer than stamens. Drupes 1.5 - 2.5 cm across, globose, deep blue or purple and succulent when ripe, mealy outside, usually 5-loculed; pyrenes globose, usually 5-locular, rarely 1 - 4 - or 6 - 10-locular, 5-seeded, strongly tubercled and marked with as many longitudinal furrows as locules.

Fl. Jan. - March & Aug. - Sept.; Fr. April- July & Oct. - Dec.

Distrib. India: In moist evergreen forests between 1500 and 2000 m. Bihar, West Bengal (Darjeeling), Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur and Maharashtra.

Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Malaya.

Notes. The sour fruit pulp is edible; the stones are used as beads for rosaries, bracelets and necklaces. Sometimes cultivated for its tubercled stones.





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