Hard Pear Tree
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Hard Pear Tree
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Hard Pear Tree, Thorny castor • Kannada: ಬೆಂಡುಗ Benduga, ಬೊಡ್ಲಿಗೆಹುಲ್ಲು Bodlige hullu, ಬೋಡುಳಿಕೆಹುಲ್ಲು Bodulike hullu, ಮುಳ್ಳು ಹರಳು Mullu haralu, ನಾಯಿಕುಳಿ Naayikuli • Malayalam: ഇരുമുള്ളി Irumulli • Marathi: कुक्कुरदंत Kukkuradanta • Tulu: ನಾಯಿಕ್ಕೂಲಿ Naaikkuli Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Scleropyrum pentandrum    Family: Santalaceae (Sandalwood family)
Synonyms: Pothos pentandrus, Scleropyrum wallichianum

Hard Pear is a parasitic tree with spiny trunk and branches. Leaves are simple, alternate, characteristically yellow-green. Flowers are bisexual in catkin-like fascicles. Fruit is a drupe. It is a small evergreen tree up to 20 m high, branches ascending or horizontally to the main trunk. Bole is straight with fascicle of sharp spines on trunk or branches. Bark is deeply fissured while juvenile stem is channelled, light brown, inner bark light brown-cream. Twigs are slightly flattened at leaf insertion and densely softly hairy when young, becoming round and hairless when mature. Young twigs have spines. Leaves are simple alternate and spiral, 10-20 x 2.5-9 cm, narrowly to broadly elliptic or ovate, tip acute, shortly acuminate, base narrowed, margin entire, blade leathery, upper surface shining, hairless. Flowers are small, grouped in fascicle of catkins, cauliflorous, unisexual, male flower smelling unpleasant, shortly pedicelled while female flower stalkless. Fruit is a drupe with pear shape or ovoid, 1.8-3.5 by 1.3-2.6 cm, stalked, green turning yellow when ripen.

Identification credit: G.R. Rao Photographed near Kumta, Karnataka.

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