FoI
Forest Champa   
Foto info
Forest Champa
ative Photo: Narendra Joshi
Common name: Forest Champa • Hindi: Padera, Padwa, Mahabal, Barcha • Marathi: गिडेसा Gidesa • Nepali: बन चाँप Ben champa • Telugu: Erra Mogi, Konda muritidi • Urdu: बन चाँपा Ban champa
Botanical name: Spermadictyon suaveolens    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Hamiltonia suaveolens, Hamiltonia mysorensis

Forest Champa is a branched shrub, growing up to 1-2 m tall. The species name suaveolens means sweet-scented, and refers to the fragrant flowers. All vegetative parts stink when bruised. Oppositely arranged elliptic-lancelike leaves, 10-20 cm, are finely velvety. Leaf stalks are 1-2 cm long. Flowers occur in many-flowered spherical heads, arrange in panicles at the end of branches. The spherical heads are 5-10 cm across. Flowers are fragrant, in bunches of 5 or more. Sepals are small, very narrow, and tapering. Flowers are white with a relatively long tube and short, oblong petals. The tube is slender, funnel-shaped, up to 1.5 cm long, with 4-5 short petals, spreading up to 8 mm. Stamens remain inside the flower throat. Style with 5-lobed stigma protrudes out of the flower. Fruit is capsule-like, crowned by the leftover sepals. In China it is grown for its showy, fragrant flowers. Only seen wild in India. This flower is seen in Western Ghats and Himalayas, from Pakistan to SE Tibet, at altitudes of 700-2300 m. Flowering: October-March.

Photographed in Maharashtra.
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