Hard-Fruit Alphonsea
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Hard-Fruit Alphonsea
E Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Hard-Fruit Alphonsea • Malayalam: Thutta • Tamil: Karugkarumbai maram
Botanical name: Alphonsea sclerocarpa    Family: Annonaceae (Sugar-apple family)

Hard-Fruit Alphonsea is a small tree, up to 6 m tall. Bark is finely fissured. Branchlets are slender, round, hairless. Leaves are simple, alternate, distichous; leaf-stalk 0.5-0.7 cm long, hairless, minutely velvet-hairy; blade 5-8 x 1.8-3 cm; lanceshaped, tip blunt, base pointed to narrowed, papery, hairless; midrib flat above; secondary nerves about 10 pairs; tertiary nerves coarsely netveined. Flowers are fascicled on very short in leaf-axils flower-cluster-stalk, greenish-yellow, solitary, flower-stalks 0.5-0.6 cm, velvet-hairy. sepals 3, 1 x 1 mm, united at base, round, reflexed, velvet-hairy; petals 6(3+3) ovate, pointed, ochraceous, outer and inner whorls subequal 9 x 4 mm, base pouched, tip slightly recurved, velvet-hairy; torus round; stamens 15-25, 1-2 mm long, stalkless, connectives flat at top, not concealing the anthers; carpels 3-6, oblong, about 2 mm long, muricate; ovules ca.8 in 2 rows; style short, hairless; stigma stalkless, capitate. Aggregated berries, up to 6, subspherical, woolly, tuberculate, more than 2-seeded, biseriate. Hard-Fruit Alphonsea is found in South India and Sri Lanka. Flowering: March-October.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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