Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Zanthoxylum oxyphyllum Edgew. in Trans. Linn. Soc. London 20: 43. 1846; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 494. 1875. Fagara oxyphylla (Edgew.) Reeder & Cheo in J. Arn. Arb. 32: 69. 1951.


Shrubs, climbing or scandent, up to 5 m high; branchlets terete, usually armed with scattered, retrorse or rarely pseudostipular straight, brownish prickles (1.5 cm long). Leaves imparipinnate up to 30 cm long; petiole and rachis grooved above; leaflets 5 - 29 or up to 25 (rarely 3-foliolate leaves occur on the same branchlet), alternate to opposite, ovate-lanceolate or oblong, younger ones linear-lanceolate, acute to cuneate or obtuse to rounded at base, acuminate at apex, acumen retuse at tip, crenate to glandular-serrate along margins, 2 - 10 x 1 - 4 cm, chartaceous or coriaceous, glabrous, glossy above; midnerve prickly beneath; secondary nerves 5 - 16 pairs, spreading; petiolules 3 - 7 mm long. Inflorescences terminal and axillary, 3 - 12 cm long, glabrous to puberulent; peduncle often prickly. Flowers in umbels or clusters of cymes, 5 - 7 mm long. Male flowers: Bracts linear-lanceolate, 1.5 - 2 mm long; pedicels glabrous to puberulent, 3 - 6 mm long. Sepals 4, ovate-triangular or rarely rounded, obtuse, 1 - 1.5 mm long, glabrous or ciliate with an apical gland. Petals 4, ovate-elliptic, 3 - 5 mm long, fleshy, obtuse, the midnerve prominent with spreading lateral veinlets. Stamens 4, 6 - 7 mm long; anthers oblong, 1 - 1.5 mm long, yellowish. Disk pulvinate, 1 - 1.5 mm high. Pistillodes 1 or 2 ca 15 mm high. Female flowers: Bracts, sepals, petals and disk as in male flowers. Staminodes absent. Gynoecium 4-carpellate, carpels ovoid, compressed, 4 - 5 mm long, glandular-punctate; styles coherent, ca 2 mm long; stigma cohering to a peltate disk, capitate; fruiting pedicel 5 - 10 mm long. Follicles 4 - 2, with 0, 1, 2, or 3 persistent abortive carpels, each follicle subglobose, apiculate, 5 - 6 mm across, pustular; seeds subglobose, ca 4 mm across, black.

Fl. Dec. - May; Fr. Aug.- Nov.

Distrib. India: Mostly in temperate forests at higher altitudes up to 2700 m; occasionally also found at lower elevations. Uttar Pradesh, W. Bengal, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh.

Nepal and Bhutan.

Notes. Fruits are medicinal and also used as condiment. Stem bark is stimulent, stomachic and digestive.

A characteristic species with large flowers arranged in dense umbellate clusturs.




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