Himalayan Blinding Tree
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Himalayan Blinding Tree
P Native Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Himalayan Blinding Tree • Nepali: गोदासिलो Godaasilo, उत्तुस Uttus, रजेली Rajelee • Mizo: Pemhlekdamdawi
Botanical name: Excoecaria acerifolia    Family: Euphorbiaceae (Castor family)
Synonyms: Excoecaria himalayensis, Excoecaria acerifolia var. himalayensis

Himalayan Blinding Treeis a shrub 1-3 m tall, hairless; branchlets longitudinally angulate, sparsely warty. The genus name Excoecaria is from the Latin word excaeco, which means "to blind" and refers to the sap of some plants of this genus that can cause temporary blindness. Leaves are alternately arranged, leaf-stalks 2-5 mm, leaf blade ovate, ovate-lanceshaped, or lanceshaped, rarely elliptic, 5-13 x 0.8-6 cm, papery, base narrowed, sometimes blunt, margins densely pointedly glandular-sawtoothed, tip tapering or long tapering, lateral veins 6-10. Flowers are unisexual, borne in 2.5-6 cm racemes at branch-ends and in leaf-axils, female in lower part, male in upper part. Flowers are very small with with 3 sepals, borne with small bracts. Capsules are nearly spherical-triangular, about 1 cm in diameter. Seeds are ovoid, gray-black when dry, smooth, about 4 mm in diameter. Himalayan Blinding Tree is found in Himalayas, from Kumaun to Nepal, Assam, at altitudes of 1100-3000 m.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh Photographed on Govindghat-Ghanghria trail, Uttarakhand.

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