Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Semievergreen, glabrous, littoral or mangrove trees or shrubs. Leaves alternate, paripinnate; leaflets opposite, generally 2 - 6, entire, faintly nerved. Panicles lax, axillary. Flowers unisexual but with well-developed rudiments of opposite sex. Calyx short, 4-fid to about middle, valvate. Petals 4, free, reflexed , much longer than calyx, contorted in bud. Staminal tube urceolate or globose, 8-dentate at apex; anthers 8, included, alternating with appendages. Antherodes in female flowers similar but non-dehiscing and without pollen. Disk cup-shaped, fleshy, red, adnate to base of ovary but free from staminal tube. Ovary 4-sulcate, 4-locular; locules 3 - 6-ovuled; style short; stigma discoid, almost blocking mouth of staminal tube, crenulate at margin; upper surface with 4 radiating grooves. Pistillode in male flowers similar but more slender and with rudimentary ovules. Fruit a septifragal capsule, irregularly globose, large, pendulous, leathery, 8 - 20-seeded, dehiscing tardily by 4-valves from base and apex; columella thin, rudimentary; seeds large, angular, thick, attached by apex to columella, exarillate, nonendospermous; testa corky; hilum prominent.

Mangrove swamps or coastal habitats of the Old World with about 5 species; 3 in India.


1a. Leaflets ovate-oblong, acuminate at apex 3. Xylocarpus moluccensis
b. Leaflets obovate to elliptic-oblong, obtuse or rounded at apex 2
2a. Stems with smooth bark and long, branched snake-like buttresses, without pneumatophores; capsules 6 - 25 cm across 2. Xylocarpus granatum
b. Stems with rough longitudinally fissured bark and short buttresses, with erect pointed pneumatophores; capsules 8 - 13 cm across 1. Xylocarpus gangeticus

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