Assam Boxwood
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Assam Boxwood
E Native Photo: Shivam Kishwan
Common name: Assam Boxwood • Assamese: Dukaha, Dukoha • Bengali: Ban-bakul • Karbi: Lali, Phang-gait arong
Botanical name: Drypetes assamica    Family: Putranjivaceae (Puranjiva family)
Synonyms: Cyclostemon assamicus

Assam Boxwood is a shrub or evergreen tree, 2-15 m tall; branchlets finely velvet-hairy when young, soon hairless. Leaves elliptic to oblong-elliptic, unequal or often pointed at base, entire, tapering to pointed or sometimes blunt at tip, 8-23 x 3.5-8.5 cm, leathery, hairless, glossy; lateral nerves 6-15 pairs; leaf-stalks 3-12 mm long, becoming hairless. Flowers are borne in fascilces in leaf-axils. Male flowers are about 1 cm across; flower-stalks 3-5 mm long; sepals 4, nearly round, 6-8 x 5-8 mm, sparsely finely velvet-hairy or hairless; stamens 8-15, 4-5 mm long; anthers oblong, about 1 mm long; disc plicate with the lobes mostly produced outwards embracing the bases of filaments, velvet-hairy. Female flowers have flower-stalks 2-4 mm long; sepals 4, nearly round, 6-9 x 5-8 mm, finely velvet-hairy; disc annular, velvet-hairy; ovary spherical or oblong-ellipsoid, 1.5-3 mm in diam., 2-locular, tomentellous; stigmas stalkless, 2, flabellate, 1-2 mm broad. Fruits are somewhat cubical or often transverse, 1.3-2.0 x 1.2-2.0 cm, bilocular, thinly velvet-hairy. Assam Boxwood is found in moist evergreen forests, up to 1400 m altitude, in Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Assam, Nagaland, Tripura, Mizoram, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Andaman Islands.

Identification credit: Shivam Kishwan Photographed in Nakraunda Swamp, Uttarakhand.

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