Lily Thorn
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Lily Thorn
P Introduced Photo: P.N. Subramanian
Common name: Lily Thorn
Botanical name: Catesbaea spinosa    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Catesbaea longiflora, Catesbaea macrantha

Lily Thorn is a small spiny shrub, with spines in leaf-axils, straight 1.5-3 cm long; bark corky. Leaves are 10-25 x 4-8 mm, opposite, entire, obovate, tipped with a short, abrupt point, leaf-stalk about 1.5 mm long. Flowers are about 10 cm long and 4-5 cm across, white or yellowish, on flower-stalks about 2 mm long, with red dots. Sepals are 4, tapering to a fine point. Flower-tube is drooping, 7-10 cm long, glandular hairy inside; petals 4, about 2 x 1 cm. Stamens are 4-5, inserted at the base of flower; anthers about 1.2 cm long. Ovary is 2-loculed; style long protruding, branched into 2 stigmatic lobes. Fruit is a berry, about 5 cm long, yellow, edible. Lily Thorn is indigenous to West Indies, occasionally cultivated in India. Flowering: June-August.

Identification credit: Anuradha Melanaturu Photographed at Theosophical Society, Chennai.

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