Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Antidesma bunius (L.) Spreng., Syst. Veg. 1: 826. 1824; Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 5: 358. 1887, p. p. (excl. A. thwaitesianum); Pax & K.Hoffm. in Engl., Pflanzenr. IV.147.xv (heft 81): 160, f. 12 E, G. 1922, p. p. (excl. A. thwaitesianum). Stilago bunius L., Mant. Pl. 122. 1767; Roxb., Fl. Ind., ed. Carey 3: 758. 1832. Antidesma andamanicum Hook.f., l. c. 364. 1887.

Asm.: Bon-heloch, Pani-heloch; Eng.: Chinese laurel, Salamander tree; Garo: Bol-aborak; Kan.: Karikoomma, Nayikoote; Kh.: Dieng-soh-silli; Lep.: Kunchur-kung; Mal.: Ariyaporiyan, Cherutali, Noolitali, Neoli-tali; Mar.: Almati; Nep.: Himatchari; Sinh.: Karawala kebella; Tam.: Nolaitali, Nolathalli; Tel.: Anepu, Janupolari.

Shrubs or trees, 1 - 12 m tall; branchlets tomentellous when young, soon glabrescent. Leaves elliptic, oblong-elliptic to obovate, acute, subacute, cuneate or rounded at base, entire to irregularly repand along margins, acuminate or apiculate at apex, 7 - 19 x 3 - 8 cm, thinly chartaceous to coriaceous, mostly glossy above, glabrous or often sparsely puberulous on midrib above towards base, glabrous beneath except for the bearded axils of the lower nerves; lateral nerves 5 - 10 pairs; petioles 3 - 10 mm long, finally glabrous. Male inflorescences terminal or often axillary, simple or sometimes once branched at the base, arising singly or sometimes 2 - 4-together, 5 - 14 cm long; bracts ovate, deltoid or lanceolate, 1 – 1.5 mm long; flowers 3 – 4 mm across, sessile or subsessile; calyx cup-shaped, ca 1 x 1 - 2 mm; lobes 3 or 4, suborbicular; disc subglobose, lobed above; stamens 3 (or 4), 2 - 3 mm long, inserted into the cavities of the disc; anther-thecae 0.8 - 1 mm across; pistillode clavate to cylindrical, ca 1 mm long. Female inflorescences terminal and axillary, simple, solitary or paired, 5 - 20 cm long; bracts deltoid, ca 1 mm long, caducous; pedicels 0.5 - 2 mm long; calyx tubular at base, 3 or 4 lobed up to midway, ca 1.5 x 1.5 mm, glabrous; lobes deltoid or triangular; disc shorter than calyx-lobes, glabrous; ovary ovoid, 1 - 1.8 x 1 - 1.3 mm, glabrous or sparsely hairy; styles terminal, ca 1 mm long, erect; stigmas 3 or 4, short, spreading, persistent. Fruits suborbicular to ovoid or widely ellipsoid, slightly compressed, 5 - 7 x 4 - 6 mm, glabrous; persistent style subterminal; fruiting pedicels 2 - 4 mm long.

Fl. March - July; Fr. July - Oct.

Distrib. India: Moist evergreen and semievergreen forests, tropical forests, inland hill forests, up to 1300 m altitude in S. India and 1850 m on the Himalayas. Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andaman Islands.

Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, S. China, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Malesia (excluding Malay Peninsula and Borneo) to New Guinea, Hawaii Islands and N. Australia.

Uses. Often cultivated as fruit tree. The fruits are juicy, sweetish sour and edible. The leaves are acidic when young and eaten with rice; also boiled and used in syphilitic ulcers. These are also diaphoretic. The stem and root bark have cyanophoretic properties and are poisonous. Bark of stem is used to prepare ropes. Timber made into pulp for making cardboards.

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