Kanara Madhu Malati
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Kanara Madhu Malati
P Native Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Kanara Madhu Malati • Kannada: ಬಿಳಿ ಸಂಧ್ಯಾರಾಣಿ Bili Sandhyarani
Botanical name: Combretum shivannae    Family: Combretaceae (Rangoon creeper family)

Kanara Madhu Malati resembles Malabar Madhu Malati in its pentamerous flowers with included stamens but differs in its velvet-hairy stem, long hypanthium and style, ovate bracts and white petals (vs hairless stem, short hypanthium and style, linear bracts and deep pink coloured petals as in C. malabaricum). It is a climber, 5-10 m long. Stems are 2-5 mm in diameter, round; bark light brown, peeling off with maturity. Leaves are nearly opposite to opposite, elliptic-lanceshaped, 2-13.5 x 1.5-5.5 cm, hairless above, hairy on nerves beneath. Inflorescence occur at branch-ends in leaf-axils, spike-like, 5-15-flowered; flower-cluster-stalks 2-10 cm long, round, fulvous velvet-hairy. Flowers are 5-merous (very rarely 4-merous), stalkless, 4-4.5 x 2.5-2.8 cm, bracteate; bracts ovate, 3.5-3.8 x 0.7-0.8 mm, fulvous velvet-hairy. Hypanthium is pale green, 3.5-4 cm long, velvet-hairy, teeth subulate, about 1.8 x 1.2 mm, ciliolate, tip recurved. Petals are white, rarely tinged pink in the centre, 1.3-1.5 x 0.4-0.5 cm, ovate, hairless above, velvet-hairy beneath along mid vein; mid vein faint above, prominent below, light green, dividing the petal into 2 unequal halves. Stamens are 5+5, inserted in the throat of the calyx tube; filament about 0.5 cm long; anthers about 0.8 x 0.5 mm, dorsifixed, bicelled, tip protruded. Kanara Madhu Malati is so far known from Yana Forest, Uttar Kannada District, Karnataka.

Identification credit: Dinesh Valke Photographed at Yana Rocks, Uttara Kannada.

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