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P Introduced Photo: S. Kasim
Common name: Nance, Golden Spoon
Botanical name: Byrsonima crassifolia    Family: Malpighiaceae (Barbados cherry family)
Synonyms: Malpighia cinerea, Malpighia crassifolia, Byrsonima cinerea

Nance is a tree 4-13 m tall, up to 30 cm bole diameter, bark fissured and warty; wood dull reddish-brown, hard, heavy; younger parts densely downy-woolly (sparsely on upper leaf surface and becoming glabrate); stems bearing prominent leaf scars. Leaf-stalks are about 1 cm long, stout; blades obovate to elliptic or ovate, tapering, narrowed to an pointed or blunt base, 7-14 cm long, 3-8 cm wide, densely pubes­cent below becoming hairless. Flowers are borne in false-racemes at branch-ends, usually soli­tary, up to 20 cm long. Flower-stalks are up to 1.5 cm long; flowers many, yellow, becoming red-orange in age; sepals each bearing 2 prominent glands, blunt, recurved, hairless inside. Petals are clawed, 1.0-1.3 cm long, the blade round, often concave, equaling length of claw, the margin irregular, 1 petal often smaller and held somewhat erect, the others spreading to reflexed. Stamens are 10, 4-5 mm long, styles 3, distinct, slender, longer than stamens, persisting on young fruits. Drupes are spherical, 1-1.5 cm in across, green turning yellow to reddish. Nance is native to tropical America, cultivated elsewhere.

Identification credit: S. Kasim Photographed in Lalbagh Botanical Garden, Bangaluru.

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