East-Himalayan Casearia
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East-Himalayan Casearia
P Native Photo: Dipankar Borah
Common name: East-Himalayan Casearia • Bengali: Bonjhalukia, Gandhavera
Botanical name: Casearia vareca    Family: Salicaceae (Willow family)
Synonyms: Guidonia vareca

East-Himalayan Casearia is a shrub or small tree usually branched from the base, up to 7 m tall. Bark is grayish with white blotches, warty, branchlets angular, round, velvet-hairy. Leaves are simple, alternate, elliptic-oblong to inverted-lanceshaped-oblong, about 7.5-16.5 x 2.5-5.5 cm across, base wedge-shaped, margin nearly entire, closely spinulose sawtoothed, tip blunt, abruptly apiculate at the tip, somewhat leathery, green hairless above and paler beneath, lateral veins about 7-12 on either side of the midrib, impressed above and prominently ridged beneath. Leaf-stalk is sparsely to densely hairy, about 5-10 mm long. Flowers are clustered in leaf-axils, in dense fascicles, with few to many flowers. Flowers are bisexual, white, greenish white, about 3 mm across, perigynous, flower-stalks densely brown-hairy, about 2-3 mm long. Sepals are 5, overlapping, broadly ovate to nearly round, about 2 mm long, petals absent. Stamens are 6-12, with the well developed velvet-hairy broad staminodes, filaments thread-like, united into a tube, persistent. Fruit capsule is 2-3 valved, ovoid-spherical, about 7-10 mm long, bright yellowish orange when ripe. Seeds are 4-6, ovoid-oblong, fleshy arillate, bright scarlet red. East-Himalayan Casearia is found in East Himalaya, Bangladesh, Myanmar.
Medicinal uses: The fruit juice is dropped into the ear when attacked by ticks.

Identification credit: Dipankar Borah Photographed in Behali Reserve Forest, Biswanath, Assam.

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