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D Introduced Photo: Aarti Khale
Common name: Aguai, aguai-guacu, aguya
Botanical name: Pouteria gardneriana    Family: Sapotaceae (Mahua family)
Synonyms: Labatia lanceolata, Lucuma gardneriana, Pouteria suavis

Aguai is a semi-deciduous to deciduous tree with a dense, wide crown growing from 10-15 m tall. The short bole can be 40-50 cm in diameter. Leaves are spaced or loosely clustered, 7.5-26 x 1.6-4.5 cm, narrowly oblong, elliptic or inverted-lanceshaped, tip pointed to rounded, base narrowly wedge-shaped or narrowed, papery, hairless. Greenish, fragrant flowers are borne in 5-15-flowered fascicles, in leaf-axils and below. Flower-stalks are 3-7 mm long, velvet-hairy. Flowers are unisexual, sepals four, 2.5-4 mm long. Flowers are broadly tubular, 3.5-5 mm long, tube 2.25-3.5 mm long, petals four, 1.25-2 mm long, broadly oblong, rounded or flat, fringed with hairs. Stamens are 4, fixed halfway to two-thirds up the flower tube; filaments 1-2 mm long, hairless; anthers 1-1.5 mm long, ovate or lanceshaped, flattened, hairless, absent in female. The edible fruit, 2.5-3.5 cm long, obovoid, is gathered from the wild and consumed locally, though it is not widely appreciated. Aguai is native to Brazil to Bolivia and NE. Argentina, cultivated elsewhere. Flowering: September-February.

Identification credit: Raman Arunachalam Photographed in Lalbagh, Bangalore.

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