Northern Olive
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Northern Olive
E Native Photo: Anurag Sharma
Common name: Northern Olive, Native Olive • Kannada: ಕುಂದೆ Kunde, ಕವುಂಡೆ kavuṇḍe, ಟೊಂಡೆ Tonde, ಲಾವಂತಿ Laavanti, ಮಣಕಿಗಿಡ Manaki gida • Malayalam: Vellaedali, Kaattuchakkalathi • Tamil: Perumsithudakki
Botanical name: Chionanthus ramiflorus    Family: Oleaceae (Jasmine family)
Synonyms: Linociera ramiflora, Linociera pauciflora, Olea roxburghii

Northern Olive is a tree, up to 20 m tall, bark light greyish-brown, minutely warty tubercled; blaze creamy-yellow; branchlets hairless. Leaves are simple, opposite, without stipules, leaf-stalk 2-3 cm long, slender, hairless; blade 5-20 x 2.5-6 cm, elliptic to obovate, base wedge-shaped, tip tapering, margin entire, hairless, chartaceous; lateral nerves 6-8 pairs, pinnate, prominent, hairless, intercostae netveined. Flowers bisexual, white, in in leaf-axils or at branch-ends panicles; flower-stalk 1 cm long; sepals 4, pointed, hairless; flower 3 mm long, lobes 4, fused in pairs, narrowly oblong; stamens 2, attached at the base of flower lobes; filaments short; anthers splitting on margin; connective broad; ovary 2-celled, superior, hairless, ovules 2 in each cell, drooping from the tip; style short. Fruit a drupe, oblong, 1.2-2 cm long, black, hairless; seed solitary. Northern Olive is found in Andaman Is., Assam, Bangladesh, China, East Himalaya, South India, SE Asia, Nepal, Nicobar Is., Queensland, Sri Lanka, West Himalaya, at altitudes up to 2000 m. Flowering: February-April.

Identification credit: Anurag Sharma Photographed in Bangalore, Karnataka & Dalma sanctuary, Jharkhand.

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