Crateva magna (Lour.) DC. - CAPPARACEAE

Basionym : Capparis magna Lour.

Synonym : Capparis nurvala Buch.-Ham.

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Deciduous trees, bark lenticellate. Leaves trifoliolate. Main stalk of leaf long. Flowers terminal, petals pinkish-white stamens longer than petals, in three whorls, purple. Fruit berry-like, pendulous on long stalks.
Habit : Briefly deciduous tree up to 22 m tall.
Trunk & bark : Bole straight or twisted, bark pale grey with large lenticels.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete, glabrous.
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Leaves trifoliate, alternate and spiral, glabrous, leaflets narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, margin entire.
Midrib raised above, secondary veins obtuse, widely parallel, tertiary veins reticulate.
Stipules absent.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers arranged in a many-flowered inflorescence, terminal, bisexual, pedicels longer than 0.5 cm.
Fruits : Fruit berry-like up to 35 cm, skin leathery, pulp fleshy, not splitting.
Seeds : Seeds many.

Habitat and ecology :

Common along river banks.

Distribution :

Burma (Myanmar), South China, North East India, Indochina, Indonesia (Sumatra, Java, Borneo), Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Laos (Khammouan province).

Remark/notes/uses :
The wood is moderately hard and used for carving and musical instruments. Bark and roots are generally used against various female disorders or as a tonic. Young leaves, flowers and young fruits are used as vegetables.

Specimens studied :
BT 915, LAO 219, LAO 228 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Gardner S., Sidisunthorn P. & Anusarnsunthorn V. 2000. A field guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand. Kobfai Publishing Project. Bangkok. Thailand.

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