Nilgiri Actephila
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Nilgiri Actephila
E Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Nilgiri Actephila • Mizo: Te-lenga-mai
Botanical name: Actephila excelsa    Family: Phyllanthaceae (Amla family)
Synonyms: Actephila zeylanica, Actephila thomsonii, Actephila neilgherrensis

Nilgiri Actephila is a shrub or a small tree, with young stem, bracts and sepals bristly. Leaves are 7-20 x 2-5 cm, lanceshaped to inverted-lanceshaped, pointed at tip, narrowed at base; leaf-stalks 0.5-1 cm long. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils, clustered; male many, short-stalked; female 1-2, long-stalked. Male flowers: Flower-stalks 0.3-0.4 cm long. Sepals 5, hairy without. Petals 5, smaller than calyx, white; disc lobed. Stamens 3-6, attached on the disc, filaments united to form a gonophore; pistillode present within gonophore. Female flowers: Flower-stalk 1-1.3 cm long. Ovary ovoid, 0.4-0.5 cm long, 0.3-0.4 cm diam, 3-celled; ovules 2 in each cell; styles 3, each again 2-fid to form 6-stigmatic lobes, lobes papillate. Nilgiri Actephila is found in Peninsular India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam. Flowering: April-May.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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