Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Clausena austroindica Stone & K.N. Nair in Nord. J. Bot. 14: 491. 1994. Molino in Bull. Mus. Hist. Nat. (Paris) 16: 127. 1994. C. heptaphylla auct. non (Roxb.) Wight & Arn. ex Steudel (1840): Gamble, Fl. Pres. Madras 155. 1915.

Shrubs or small trees, up to 10 m high; branchlets cylindric, minutely puberulous or glabrous; bark greenish, lenticellate. Leaves up to 40 cm long with marginate or narrowly winged (wings ca 1.5 mm wide on either side), puberulent or glabrous rachis; leaflets generally 5 to 9, subopposite to alternate, 5.5 - 16 x 2.5 - 6 cm; lateral ones slightly assymetric, lanceolate to obovate, attenuate to cuneate at base, acuminate, obtuse or rounded at apex, crenate or undulate, often revolute along margins; glands beneath usually convex; secondary nerves 6 - 12 pairs; tertiaries finely reticulate. Inflorescences terminal and from uppermost axils, narrowly paniculate , up to 20 cm long; bracteoles 2, oblong-lanceolate, unequal, ca 1 mm long, ciliate. Flowers subglobose in bud, 6 mm long (ripe bud), borne on short (2 - 5 mm long), glabrescent pedicels. Calyx 5-(4)-lobed, glabrous; lobes rounded, deltate, 0.5 mm long, with a conspicuous terminal pellucid gland, margins ciliolate minutely. Petals 5(4), imbricate, elliptic, obtuse, 3 - 5 x 1.5 - 3 mm with obscure glands, white. Stamens 10, five longer, alternating with five shorter; filaments slightly thickened in middle; upper part subulate and the lower dilated; anthers oblong or rhomboid, cordate, ca 1.5 mm long, sometimes with a terminal gland on connective. Ovary seated on a small but distinct gynophore, subglobose, ca 1 x 1.5 mm, distinctly papillate-glandular, usually also slightly puberulent, 5-locular, (rarely 4-locular), each with 2 collateral ovules; style short, caducous, shorter than ovary, glabrous, tipped by a truncate stigma manifestly wider than the style. Berries globose, oblate, usually about 8 x 12 mm broader than long, greenish, glandular.

Fl. Feb. -April; Fr. May-Sept.; ripening usually during July and August.

Distrib. India: Evergreen forests or 'sholas' in the southern W. Ghats of peninsular India; found at as low as 200 m but usually up to 1650 m. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.


Notes. This species was previously included in Clausena heptaphylla (Roxb.) Steudel, by Gamble (1915). In general, C. austroindica resembles C. heptaphylla. The most distinctive characters that distinguish C. austroindica from C. heptaphylla include the presence of a cylindric-obovoid, conspicuously glandular-papillate, 5-locular (rarely 4-10cular) ovary with two collateral ovules in each locule, style shorter than the ovary, and a capitate stigma which is distinctly broader than the style.

Many recent collections of this species are from higher altitudes, differing superficially from the few collections from 200 - 400 m altitude in having smaller, shorter leaves, with rather thick texture and more distinctly crenate leaflets, and comparatively short and narrow, rather few-flowered panicles. In essential floral features there are no differences and there are vegetative intermediates so that it is clear that the characters seen in the plants of higher altitudes are ecologically determined.


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