Large Sapphire Berry   
Foto info
Large Sapphire Berry
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Large Sapphire Berry • Malayalam: Malamparala
Botanical name: Symplocos macrocarpa    Family: Symplocaceae (Saphire-berry family)

Large Sapphire Berry is a tree up to 8 m tall, bark smooth; blaze yellowish. Leaves are simple, alternate, estipulate; leaf-stalk 5-8 mm, stout, rusty velvet-hairy, grooved above; blade 6-15 x 3-4.5 cm, elliptic, obovate, elliptic-oblong; base pointed or blunt, tip tapering, margin sawtoothed, gland dotted, hairless above, shiny, leathery; lateral nerves 8-10 pairs, regular, pinnate; intercostae netveined. Flowers are bisexual, white, 8.5 mm across, in 1-4 flowered in leaf-axils or at branch-ends short spikes; bracts solitary at the base of each flower-stalk; bracteoles early cauducous; calyx tube adnate to the ovary, lobes 5, 3-3.5 mm long, bell-shaped; flower lobes 5, 3-3.5 mm long, fused at the base; stamens many, unequal, many seriate, adnate to the flower tube; anthers short, filaments unite at the base; ovary inferior, ovules 2-3 in each cell, drooping from the inner angle; style thread-like; stigma capitate. Fruit is a drupe, 1.5-2 x 0.8-1 cm, ovoid, creamy white, smooth, hairless. Large Sapphire Berry is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: March-October.

Identification credit: Dr. Jomy Augustine Photographed in Eravikulam National Park, Munnar, Idukki distt., Kerala.

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