Eastern Physic Nut
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Eastern Physic Nut
P Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Eastern Physic Nut
Botanical name: Baliospermum calycinum var. calycinum    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Baliospermum effusum, Baliospermum siamense

Eastern Physic Nut is a shrub up to 3 m high, dioecious. Leaf-stalks are 2-6 cm long; blade usually oblong to elliptic, slightly ovate or obovate, 10-20 by 3-8 cm, papery, base usually wedge-shaped, rarely rounded, margin sawtoothed to slightly rounded toothed, tip pointed to tapering or slightly with a tail, bristly on lower surface or both sides, trinerved or penninerved with 6-10 pairs of nerves. Flower clusters are hairless to velvet-hairy. Male flower-clusters 1-16 cm long; female ones 2-3 cm long. Male flowers are spherical, small, 0.8-2 mm in diameter; flower-stalks 1-2 mm long; sepals round to ovate, 1-2.5 by 0.8-2 mm, stamens 9-21, filaments 1-2 mm long. Female flowers are larger than male ones, 3-7 mm in diameter; flower-stalks 1-2 mm long; sepals elliptic or oblong (or slightly ovate) , 3-5 by 1-2 mm, papery, velvet-hairy or almost hairless, pale green to green-yellow; ovary nearly spherical, 1-3 mm, style slender, 1-3 mm long. Fruits are erect, nearly spherical, 1-1.2 by about 0.8 cm; sepal-cup persistent and accrescent up to 5 by 2 cm. Eastern Physic Nut is native to Nepal, East Himalaya to China and SE Asia. Flowering: June-October.

Identification credit: M. Sawmliana, Tapas Chakraborty, Shiny Rehel Photographed in Mizoram.

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