Hedge Boxwood
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Hedge Boxwood
E Native Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Hedge Boxwood • Malayalam: Vellakasavu, Veeramaram • Tamil: Kalvirai, Aadumilukkan, Veerai, Kaayalakkamaram, Vellilambu
Botanical name: Drypetes sepiaria    Family: Putranjivaceae (Puranjiva family)
Synonyms: Hemicyclia sepiaria

Hedge Boxwood is an evergreen tree, up to 15 m high, bark grey, thin, smooth; branchlets yellowish or blackish, round. Leaves are simple, alternate; stipules small, falling off; leaf-stalk 3-8 mm, stout, finely velvet-hairy; blade 2-9 x 1.5-4.5 cm, ovate, elliptic, ovate-oblong, ovate-elliptic or round, base round or heart-shaped, tip blunt or round and retuse, margin entire or rounded toothed, thickly leathery, hairless, shining; lateral nerves 4-8 pairs, slender, pinnate, obscure, ascending, intercostae netveined, obscure. Flowers are unisexual, yellowish, in in leaf-axils clusters; male flowers: flower-stalk 4-7 mm, velvet-hairy; tepals 4, 3-4 x 2.5-3.5 mm, small, concave, fringed with hairs, blunt, overlapping; stamens 6-10; filaments 2 mm, free; anthers oblong; disc disciform or shortly cup-shaped; female flowers: flower-stalk 1-10 mm long, velvet-hairy; tepals 4, 2-4 x 1.7-3.5 mm, small, concave, fringed with hairs; disc annular, rounded toothed; ovary ovoid, 1-1.5 mm across, 1-locular, ovules 2; style 1; stigma broad, cup-shaped, peltate, fringed. Fruit is a drupe 8 mm across, spherical, hairless, red; epicarp crinkled; seed 1, arillate. Hedge Boxwood is found in India and Sri Lanka
Medicinal uses: This plant is used in folk medicine by the tribal people of Western Ghats to treat pain and inflammation. The seeds of this plant are used as a wild edible food by Palliyars (tribal Group) of Western Ghats

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Vellore Dist, Tamil Nadu.

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