Andaman Dillenia
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Andaman Dillenia
E Native Photo: Aditya Gadkari
Common name: Andaman Dillenia • Andaman: Chalta
Botanical name: Dillenia andamanica    Family: Dilleniaceae (Karmal family)

Andaman Dillenia is a trees about 70-90 ft tall. Leaves are simple, inverted-lanceshaped or narrow oblong-obovate, 26-46 x 10-16 cm across, base pointed, margins entire or slightly toothed, tip blunt or rounded, chartaceous, bristly mainly on the nerves beneath, lateral veins 40-46 on either side of the midrib, ascending obscure, impressed above, prominent beneath, netveined veinlets, leaf-stalks stout, about 0.5-2 cm long. Flowers occur singly or in pairs on shoots of about 3 cm across, flower-stalks of about 1-3.5 long, bracts, leaf-like or leaf-like, bristly, hairy. Calyx is 5 toothed, sepals fringed with hairs along the margins, silky outside, outer sepals 15 x 12 mm across, inners sepals 18 x 14 mm across. Flowers are 5 lobed, petals obovate, yellow, about 5 x 3 cm across. Stamens are free, numerous, inner stamens with reflexed at tip about 13 mm long, outer stamens, about 7 mm long. Carpels are 6-8, around the conical receptacle, with ovules upto 20, styles curved, about 10 mm long, Fruits are pseudocarps not splitting, enclosed by enlarged thickened sepals, about 2.5 cm in diameter, nearly spherical, orange when ripe. Andaman Dillenia is endemic to Andaman & Nicobar Islands.
Medicinal uses: Locally known as ‘‘Chalta’’, the stem bark of Andaman Dillenia is used to treat leucoderma among native people of North Andaman Islands.

Identification credit: Akshay Surendra Photographed in Andaman & Nicobar.

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