Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Pleiospermium alatum (Wight & Arn.) Swingle in J. Wash. Acad. Sci. 6: 428. 1916. Limonia alata Wight & Arn., Prodr. 92. 1834; Hook. f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 508. 1875. Hesperuthusa alata (Wight & Arn.) Alston in Trimen, Handb. Fl. Ceylon 6(Suppl.): 38. 1931. Naringi alata (Wight & Arn.) Ellis in Bull. Bot. Surv. India 22: 193. 1980.

Small trees, up to ca 8 m high; branchlets usually armed with single, stout, straight, ca 25 mm long spines in leaf axils, or rarely unarmed, especially in fruiting branchlets; bark grey, lenticellate. Leaves trifoliolate, rarely bi-or unifoliolate; petioles ca 25 mm long, articulated at base of leaflet blades, narrowly winged; wings linear-oblanceolate to obovate, obtuse above, shallow at base, ca 5 mm broad on either side, glandular-puberulent to glabrous; leaflets subsessile; terminal one the largest, ca 6.5 x 4.5 cm, the laterals smaller, ca 4 x 3 cm, elliptic-obovate to obovate or oblong-elliptic, cuneate, sometimes slightly oblique at base, rounded and emarginate at apex, entire or obscurely crenate along margins, dark green on both surfaces, coriaceous, glandular-punctate; secondary nerves 5 - 7 pairs, slender, prominulent on both surfaces, rather faintly reticulate. Inflorescences axillary or sometimes terminal (from upper most leaf axils), paniculate, ca 5 cm long; peduncles and axes slender, softly grey-pubescent; pedicels short, to 2 mm long, pubescent. Flowers small, cylindric in bud, pubescent. Sepals 4 or 5, free to the base, ca 2 mm long, sometimes unequal in size, ovate-oblong, obtuse or rounded at apex, green, obscurely glandular, finely pubescent abaxially, imbricate. Petals 4 or 5, oblong-ovate, obtuse, ca 3 x 2 mm, glandular-punctate, glabrous or shortly pubescent abaxially, imbricate, white. Stamens 8 or 10, ca 2.5 mm long, unequal; filaments linear, subulate above, glabrous; anthers linear-oblong, sometimes apiculate, ca 1.5 mm long. Disk annular, fleshy. Ovaryobovoid, ca 3 x 1.5 mm, smoothly glandular, glabrous, 4- or 5-locular; each locule with 2 ovules; style cylindric, as long as ovary, glabrous; stigma capitate, ca 1 mm broad. Fruits subglobose, resembling small oranges, to 25 mm across; pericarp rough when dry, glandular, glabrous; interior of locules filled with a mucilaginous aromatic pulp; seeds 1 or 2 in each locule, ovoid, flattened with a hard, smooth testa.

Fl. March - April; Fr. June - Sept.

Distrib. India: Moist deciduous or semievergreen forests, up to 1250 m; occasionally also found at lower elevations, 50 - 100 m. Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and the Andaman Islands.

Sri Lanka.

Notes. Leaves and bark are used in fomentations for rheumatic pains. Carefully seasoned wood can be used for making tool-handles.


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