Karal Fig
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Karal Fig
D Native Photo: Ajit Ampalakkad
Common name: Karal Fig, South Indian Fig • Hindi: पिलखन Pilkhan • Kannada: ಬೋವಿ Bovi, ಬೋವು Bovu, ಬೋವಿಯ ಮರ,Boviyamara,ಕರಿಬಸರಿ Kari basari, ಬಿಳಿಬಸುರಿ Bilibasuri • Malayalam: Karaal, Kara, Aal, Karal, Chela • Sanskrit: Kapitanah, Plaksah • Tamil: Kal-aal • Telugu: Jevi, Juvi
Botanical name: Ficus tsjakela    Family: Moraceae (Mulberry family)
Synonyms: Ficus tsjahela Burm. f.

Karal Fig is a deciduous tree up to 25 m tall. Bark is dark brown; blaze red. Branchlets are round, hairless. Sap is white, profuse. Leaves are simple, alternate, spiral; stipules leaf-like, 0.7 cm long, falling off and leaving annular scar; leaf-stalk about 6 cm long, channeled, hairless. Leaves are up to 20 x 8 cm, oblong, elliptic-oblong, tip tapering, base rounded, leathery, margin entire, hairless and glossy; basally 3-nerved; midrib raised above; secondary nerves 6-10 pairs, prominent and parallel, looped near the margin; tertiary nerves netveined. Inflorescence is fig-like, stalkless, depressed-spherical, in clusters of 2-6, on very short crowded tubercles in the axils of the leaves or most frequently at the scars of fallen leaves; flowers unisexual. Figs are stalkless, about 0.5 cm across, greenish; achenes smooth. Karal Fig is native to Peninsular India and Sri Lanka.

Identification credit: Ajit Ampalakkad Photographed in Tamil Nadu & Karnataka.

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