Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Clausena excavata Burm. f., Fl. Ind. 87, t. 29, 2. 1768; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 504. 1875.

Asm.: Narasigha, Bengjari, Theng-Sah-Soh-arong; Garo: Sam-sweng; Kh.: Diengtyner(Kh.); Or.: Agnijhal.

Shrubs or small trees, up to 6 m high; branchlets cylindric, 4 - 5 mm across, shortly pubescent to grey-tomentose, sometimes also glandular-pubescent. Leaves up to 40 cm long; petiole and rachis 15 - 30 cm long, softly tomentose or glabrescent; leaflets 15 - 23, sometimes up to 35, subopposite to alternate, ovate, ovate-oblong to lanceolate, oblique and cuneate at base, acute or acuminate at apex, entire, undulate or obscurely crenate, often with pubescent glands along margins, 2 - 7 x 1 - 3 cm, membranous to chartaceous, glands often dimorphic, pubescent or adpressedly tomentose on both surfaces, sometimes becoming glabrescent on ageing; petiolules short (ca 5 mm long), pubescent to tomentose; secondary nerves 4 - 7 pairs, faint above, prominent beneath. Panicles terminal, up to 30 cm long, peduncle and lateral branches densely white or greyish-pubescent; pedicels very short, ca 1 mm long, pubescent. Flowers borne in cymes. Sepals 4, ovate, acute or obtuse, ca 1 mm long, ciliate. Petals broadly elliptic, concave, obtuse, 3 - 4.5 x 2 mm, with few pellucid glands, greenish, pilose abaxially. Stamens 8, alternately short and long; filaments greenish-white, subulate above, dilated below, with a prominent hump on abaxial surface, concave adaxially, 2 - 3.5 mm long, papillate or glabrous; anthers ellipsoid or subcordate, versatile, orange-yellow. Gynophore hourglass-shaped, greenish, glabrous, ca 1 mm long from a broad annulus ca 1 mm wide at base, then contracts to ca 0.8 mm across, which further expands into a cupular top with its edges often having glandular projections where it joins the base of ovary. Ovary ovoid or subglobose, often with a few pellucid glands at the point of attachment of style, strongly or less hirsute, 4-locular with 2 ovules in each locule; style cylindric, ca 1 mm long, glabrous; stigma subcapitate, minute, scarcely broader than style. Berries oblong, to 20 mm across; greenish-white when young, pink when mature, glandular-punctate; seeds Solitary, oblong, large.

Fl. March-May; Fr. Aug. -Oct.

Distrib. India: Tropical evergreen or mixed forests up to 600 m. Bihar, W. Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Orissa.

Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Thailand, S. China, Vietnam, Myanmar, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Philippines and New Guinea.

Notes. Plants are diuretic and used in indigestion. Dried and powdered rootstock is used for decayed teeth by the 'Kols'. The timber is used for making handles of axes. In northeastern India the leaves and twigs are used as those of the curry leaf plant (Murraya koenigii).

Sunderraj and Nagarajan's (in J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 66: 657-659. 1970) report on the occurrence of this species in southern India was based on an imperfect specimen in MH (V. Narayanaswamy s. n., Arambha, Travancore (Kerala), 5. 12. 1928, MH), which, in fact, represents a sterile twig (in poor condition) of C. anisata.

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