Nilgiri Daphne-Leaf
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Nilgiri Daphne-Leaf
ative Photo: S. Jeevith
Common name: Nilgiri Daphne-Leaf • Kannada: ನೀರುಜಪ್ಲೆ Neerujaple, ನೀರುಜಪ್ಪಲಿ Neerujappali, ನೀರುಕಕ್ಕೆ Neeru kakke • Malayalam: Kozhikkulamavu, Vellakottlan, Peekkiri
Botanical name: Daphniphyllum neilgherrense    Family: Daphniphyllaceae (Daphne-Leaf family)
Synonyms: Goughia neilgherrensis

Nilgiri Daphne-Leaf is an evergreen tree, up to 15 m tall. Bark is greyish-brown, smooth, blaze yellow, sap milky, branchlets stout. Leaves are simple, alternate, clustered at the tip of branchlets. Leaf-stalks are 5-25 mm, slender. Leaves are 3.5-12 x 1.5-5 cm, obovate, elliptic-obovate or obovate-oblong, base narrow, tip pointed or blunt, margin entire, curled, hairless above and glaucous beneath, leathery. Lateral nerves are 5-10 pairs, slender, faint, intercostae reticulate, faint. Flowers are unisexual, yellowish-green, in axillary racemes. Male flowers have bracts 3 x 3 mm, tepals 5, minute, stamens are 5-12, free with large pink oblong anthers. Female flowers are bracteate, perianth similar to male flowers; ovary superior, imperfectly 2-celled; ovules 2 in each cell; stigmas thick, recurved, undivided. Fruit is a drupe, 1.0-1.2 cm long, ovoid, greenish-red. Nilgiri Bay-Leaf is found in Indo-Malesia. In India it is found in Western Ghats.

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed in Nilgiri Hills, Tamil Nadu.

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