Lanceleaf Buttonwood
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Lanceleaf Buttonwood
E Introduced Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Lanceleaf Buttonwood, Damas tree
Botanical name: Conocarpus lancifolius    Family: Combretaceae (Rangoon creeper family)
Synonyms: Anogeissus latifolia (Roxb.) Bedd., Conocarpus niloticus Delile ex Steud.

Lanceleaf Buttonwood is an evergreen tree, usually growing 10-20 m tall. The bole can be up to 90 cm in diameter. Leaves are smooth and shiny, to 10 cm long, lanceshaped, narrowing towards the base, in dense spirals. Flowers are yellow-green, in round heads on branched stalks, slightly fragrant. Fruits are dry, round, greenish heads, cone like, containing tiny, scale-like hard seeds. The tree's wood is dense and suitable for charcoal. Goats use the young trees and shoots as fodder, although the leaves contain tannin. A drought-resistant species, Lanceleaf Buttonwood is one of the more promising trees for dry areas. Lanceleaf Buttonwood is native to Somalia.
Medicinal uses: A gum obtained from the tree is used to treat chest and bowel complaints.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Bangalore outskirts, Karnataka.

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