Ceylon Tea
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Ceylon Tea
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Ceylon Tea • Hindi: जमरासी Jamrasi, मलकाकनी Malkakni, Kondagaidh, ढेबरी Dhebri • Marathi: Motha bhutya, Butkus • Tamil: கருவலீ Karuvali, கந்நீரமரம் Kanniramaram • Telugu: నిరిజా Nirija, Noorijia, Bhutan-kusama • Kannada: ಕನ್ನಿರೆ Kannire, ಮುಕ್ಕರಿವೆ Mukkarive, ಮುಕ್ಕಾರಿಕೆ Mukkarike, ಹಕ್ಕೆರಲು, ಹಕ್ಕೇರಲು Hakkeralu, ಮೂಕಾರ್ತಿ Mookaarti
Botanical name: Cassine glauca    Family: Celastraceae (Spike-thorn family)
Synonyms: Elaeodendron glaucum, Mangifera glauca, Elaeodendron paniculatum

Ceylon Tea is a large evergreen tree, upto 5 meters high. The genus name Elaeodendron means, olive tree - maybe referring to the ovoid fruit. Branchlets are reddish; bark red inside, exuding a watery sap when cut. Leaves are simple, opposite, 3-16 x 1.5-7.5 cm, elliptic, ovate-oblong or obovate, glabrous, dark green, shining above, glaucous beneath; petiole 0.5-1 cm long, channelled. Inflorescence is an axillary dichotomous cyme; Flower white or greenish yellow. Stamens four, inserted on the margin of the disk, recurved; anthers with a bilobed connective. Stamens shorter than petals. Disk thick and fleshy. Ovary 4-celled united with the disk; style short; fruit green in colour, ovoid and a drupe. In the Western Ghats, it is found in Satara, Pune, Konkan (Harishchandragad). Flowering: February-May.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed at Nimgiri, Maharashtra.

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