Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Cassine balae Kosterm. in Gard. Bull. Sing. 39: 185. 1986; Daniel et al. in J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 96: 495. 1999.

Bushy shrubs, up to 1.5 tall, glabrous; branches numerous; bark furrowed. Leaves ovate to elliptic-oblong, 3-7 x 1.5-4 cm, coriaceous, base cuneate, apex acute-subacute or obtuse, sharply serrated at margins; lateral nerves in 5- 7(-9) pairs; petioles up to 1 cm long. Stipules minute, scale-like. Flowers 5- merous, in axillary, dichotomously cymed panicles; bracts and bracteoles subulate, small. Calyx lobes broadly ovate, valvate. Petals oblong, up to 3 mm long. Stamens up to 1 mm long, inserted in disk. Fruits drupaceous, oblong, up to 2 cm long.

Fl. & Fr. : January.

Distrib. India: In coastal scrub forests on sandy soil. Tamil Nadu. Rare

Sri Lanka.

Notes. Casine balae was instituted by Kostermans (l.c.) from Sri Lanka on the basis of specimens partly referred to Elaeodendron glaucum (Rottb.) Pers. Recently Daniel et al. (l. c .) reported it from Ramnathpuram district of Tamil Nadu. Though the Sri Lankan plants are usually trees attaining a height of ca 20 m, but those growing on dunes and in sterile sandy coastal areas in north-eastern Sri Lanka show many-branched, bushy habit much like the Indian plants recorded from the identical habitat (Daniel et al., l.c.).

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