Madagascar Bottle Tree
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Madagascar Bottle Tree
D Introduced Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Madagascar Bottle Tree
Botanical name: Moringa drouhardii    Family: Moringaceae (Drumstick family)

Madagascar Bottle Tree is a deciduous tree that usually grows 5-10 m tall, occasionally up to 18 m. The stem is swollen to facilitate the storge of water and is usually mainly unbranched with short branches near the top. Leaves are alternate, 2-3 times pinnate, pinnae opposite. Flowers are borne in leaf-axil panicles, white or red, hermaphrodite, zygomorphic. Sepal-tube is short, with 5 unequal spreading or reflexed sepals, the fifth posticous, overlapping. Petals are 5, the two upper smaller, the lateral ones rising up, the anticous larger. Disk lining the sepal-cup-tube, with a short free margin. Capsule long, beaked, 3-6-angled, torulose, 1-celled, 3-valved. The tree is often harvested for local use as a medicine and source of oil. The plant is often grown for its useful properties in Madagascar, where it is native.

Identification credit: Deeksha Rathour, Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in cultivation at Aurovile Botanical Garden, Pondicherry.

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