Benkara malabarica (Lam.) Tirveng. - RUBIACEAE

Synonym : Randia malabarica Lam.

Vernacular names : Tamil: Pudan, Sirukarai, Pidathi

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Botanical descriptions Ecology Distribution Literature

Botanical descriptions :

Habit : Small trees.
Trunk\bark : Trunk with short simple or branched thorns; bark grey, lenticellate; blaze yellowish.
Branchlets : Young branchlets subterete, glabrous.
Leaves : Leaves simple, opposite, decussate; stipule linear, interpetiolar, caducous and leaving scar; petiole ca. 0.8 cm long, planoconvex in cross section, glabrous; lamina 3.5-7.5 x 1.3-3, obovate, apex obtuse to shortly acuminate with blunt tip, base attenuate, margin entire, coriaceous, glabrous beneath; midrib raised above; secondary_nerves ca. 6 pairs, domatia present at axils; tertiary_nerves obscure.
Flowers : Inflorescence umbel like corymbs, axillary; flowers white-cream; pedicel ca. 0.5 cm long.
Fruit& seed : Berry, globose, with crown of persistent calyx lobes; seeds many.

Ecology :

Trees in dry evergreen to semi-evergreen forests up to 600 m.

Distribution :

Peninsular India and Sri Lanka; in the Western_Ghats- throughout.

Literature :

Taxon 32: 440. 1983; Gamble, Fl. Madras 2: 616. 1993 (re. ed); Sasidharan, Biodiversity documentation for Kerala- Flowering Plants, part 6: 210. 2004; Almeida, Fl. Maharashtra 3:3. 2001; Cook, Fl. Bombay 1: 600. 1903.

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