Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Chloroxylon swietenia DC., Prodr. 1: 625. 1824; Heirn in Hook.f., Fl. Brit. India 1: 569. 1875 (sub Meliaceae). Swietenia chloroxylon Roxb., Pl. Coromandel 1: 46, t. 64. 1796.

Hindi: Bhen; Kan.: Meshwal; Mar.: Halda, Billu; Or.: Sengelsali; Tam.: Mammarai, Vacimaram; Tel.: Billoo.

Trees, deciduous, up to 15 m high, most parts greyish-pubescent; bark grey-brownish, corky, fissured. Leaves up to 30 cm long; petiole slender, terete, 3 - 4 cm long; leaflets 10 - 20 pairs, alternate and opposite, ovate-oblong, cuneate at base, obtuse at apex, entire along margins; mid nerve slightly raised beneath; 2.5 - 3 x 1.2 cm, asymmetric, membranous-chartaceous, green above, pale and glaucous beneath; secondary nerves 3 - 4 pairs, prominulent, sparsely reticulate. Inflorescences 10 - 15 cm long, pyramidal, grey-pubescent. Flowers 10 mm across; pedicels ca 5 mm long, puberulent. Sepals 5, minute, deltoid, puberulent. Petals 5, imbricate, spathulate, clawed, acute at apex, 3 - 5 x 1.2 - 3 cm, creamy-white, puberulent on both sides, ciliolate along margins. Stamens 10, shorter than petals; filaments filiform, subulate above, ca 2 mm long, glabrous; anthers broadly ellipsoid, ca 0.5 mm long, creamy. Disk pulvinate, 10-lobed, dense puberulent. Ovary immersed in disk, greenish, ca 2 mm broad, 3-lobed, 3-locular, ovules 2 - 8 in each locule, biseriate; style slender, glabrous; stigma obliquely-capitate, obscurely 3-lobed. Capsule ovoid-oblong, ca 3 x 1.5 cm, smooth, 3-valved; seeds 4 in each valve, compressed, 15 x 3 mm, distally alate, brown

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

Distrib. India: Dry deciduous forests at low elevations. Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Sri Lanka, Malagasy.

Notes. Wood is deep greenish-yellow, lustrous, closely grained, heavy and durable. It is used for furniture and tool handles. It yields an yellow dye and also a good oil.

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