Saraca asoca (Roxb.) Wilde - FABACEAE-CAESALPINIOIDEAE

Synonym : Jonesia asocaRoxb.; Saraca indica auct. non. L.

Vernacular names : Tamil:  Ashoka tree.  Malayalam: Ashokam.

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Botanical descriptions Ecology Distribution Status Literatures

Botanical descriptions :

Habit : Small trees, up to 5 m tall.
Trunk & Bark : Trunk often tubercled; bark lenticellate, dark, shallowly fissured; blaze purplish.
Branches and Branchlets : Branchlets terete, glabrous.
Leaves : Leaves compound, paripinnate, alternate, distichous; stipules caducous; rachis pulvinate, 7-30 cm long; petiolule 0.1-0.6 cm long; leaflets opposite, 4-6 (-12) pairs, lamina 6-31 x 1.5-9 cm, narrow elliptic-oblong or lanceolate, apex acute to acuminate, base acute to rounded or subcordate, subcoriaceous, glabrous; midrib raised above; secondary_nerves ca. 11 pairs, looped; tertiary_nerves reticulate.
Inflorescence / Flower : Inflorescence dense corymbs; flowers orange, sometimes white; fragrant.
Fruit and Seed : Pod, flat, oblong, to 15 x 4.5 cm, apiculate; seeds obovate-orbiculate.

Ecology :

Understorey tree along stream in evergreen to semi-evergreen forests up to 600 m.

Distribution :

India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar; in the Western_Ghats- South, Central and South Maharashtra part of Sahyadris.

Status :

Vulnerable (IUCN, 2000).

Literatures :

Blumea 15: 393. 1968; Gamble, Fl. Madras 1: 409. 1997 (re. ed); Sasidharan, Biodiversity documentation for Kerala- Flowering Plants, part 6: 156. 2004; Cook, Fl. Bombay 1: 429. 1902; Saldanha, Fl. Karnataka 1: 393. 1996.

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