Fern Tree
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Fern Tree
ative Photo: Shaista Ahmad
Common name: Fern Tree, fern leaf tree, soapberry • Tamil: Ningal • Malayalam: Valmurichcha, Neeroli • Telugu: patta kunkudu • Kannada: ಕಾಡುಹೂವರಸಿ Kaadu hoovarasi, ನೀರೊಳಿ Neeroli
Botanical name: Filicium decipiens    Family: Sapindaceae (Soapberry family)

Fern Tree is a medium-sized tree, native to the Western Ghats. Leaves are pinnate, leaflets 6-8 pair, smooth, shining, opposite or some alternate, stalkless, linear oblong, 4-6 inches long, with a prominent midrib. Leaf spine has a leafy wing on either side between the leaflets. Flowers are small, numerous, unisexual, in erect narrow panicles, 6-8 inches long, in leaf axils. Sepals are narrow, smooth, persistent. Petals in male flowers as long as sepals, in female small. Disk is very hairy. Drupe is ovoid, 0.5 inch in diameter, purple shining.

Identification credit: Sankara Rao Photographed in Bangalore.

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