Mesua ferrea L. - CLUSIACEAE

Synonym : Mesua speciosaChoisy; M. Pedunculata Wt.; M. coromandelina Wt.

Vernacular names : Tamil: Mallaynangai, Nagacuram, Nagappu, Nangu, Nangil, Nangul, Suruli.  Malayalam: Churuli, Nagapoovu, Nanku, Vayanavu, Nagacampakam.  Kannada: Atha, Naga sampige.  English: Iron wood tree.

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Botanical descriptions Ecology Distribution Status Literatures

Botanical descriptions :

Habit : Large trees, buttressed, up to 35 m tall.
Trunk & Bark : Bark brown with irregularly large flaky peelings; blaze reddish.
Branches and Branchlets : Branchlets slender, terete, glabrous.
Exudates : Latex dirty white.
Leaves : Simple, opposite, decussate; petiole slender 0.5-1.2 cm long, planoconvex in cross section; lamina 7.5-14 x 1.5-3.5 cm, narrow elliptic to narrow lanceolate, apex narrowly acuminate, base acute, margin entire, glaucous beneath; secondary_nerves many, slender, closely parallel, perpendicular to midrib, sometimes obscure.
Inflorescence / Flower : Flowers bisexual, solitary or in pairs, axillary; petals white; stamens many, orange yellow.
Fruit and Seed : Berry, ovoid to globose, apiculate, striate, 1-4 seeded.

Ecology :

Common canopy trees in evergreen forests usually along streams up to 1500 m.

Distribution :

Indomalaysia; in the Western_Ghats- South and Central Sahyadris.

Status :

Mesua ferrea treated here as a complex species. In recent years this species has been spilt into either different varieties or some more species.

Literatures :

Hooker, Fl. Brit. Ind. 1: 277. 1874; Gamble, Fl. Madras 1: 77. 1997 (re. ed); Sasidharan, Biodiversity documentation for Kerala- Flowering Plants, part 6: 42. 2004; Saldanha, Fl. Karnataka 1: 210. 1996; Cook, Fl. Bombay 1: 81. 1902.

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