Hog Plum
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Hog Plum
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Hog Plum, Sea Lemon, Yellow plum, spiny plum, tallow nut • Kannada: kaada nakkaare • Tamil: chiru-illantai • Telugu: bili nekkera
Botanical name: Ximenia americana    Family: Olacaceae (Olax family)
Synonyms: Ximenia montana, Ximenia elliptica, Ximenia aculeata

Yellow Plum is a semi-scandent bush-forming shrub or small tree 2-7 m high. Trunk diameter is seldom greater than 10 cm. Bark is dark brown to pale grey, smooth to scaly. The lax, usually divergent branching forms a rounded or conical crown. Branchlets are purple-red with a waxy bloom and the tree is usually armed with straight slender spines. It is sometimes semi-parasitic with haustoria on the roots. Leaves are alternate, lanceshaped to elliptic, 3-8 to 1.5-4 cm, variable thickness (semi-succulent to thin); blunt to notched at the tip, 3-7 pairs veins, inconspicuous. Leaf-stalks are short, slender, up to 6 mm long, canaliculate. Leaves are grey-green, hairless and leathery or thin flesh. When crushed, young leaves smell of bitter almonds. The fragrant white, yellow-green or pink flowers occur in branched inflorescences borne on shortly pedunculate axillary racemes or umbels; pedicles 3-7 mm long, both peduncles or pedicles glabrous. Fruits are round to ellipsoidal drupes about 3 cm long, 2.5 cm thick, glabrous, greenish when young, becoming yellowish (or, rarely, orange-red) when ripe, containing a juicy pulp and 1 seed. Seed woody, light yellow, up to 1.5 cm long, 1.2 cm thick.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale
Photographed at Suttagatti, Karnataka.
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