Panakka Tree
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Panakka Tree
E Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Panakka Tree • Malayalam: Karuvali, പനക്ക Panakka • Tamil: Chiru Piyari, Karuvaali, Karuvali, Panakka • Telugu: Kuntichinta pairi, Piyari
Botanical name: Pleurostylia opposita    Family: Celastraceae (Spike-thorn family)
Synonyms: Celastrus oppositus, Euonymus godaverensis, Pleurostylia cochinchinensis

Panakka Tree is a tree up to 15 m tall, sometimes shrub; branchlets nearly round or obscurely 4-angled. Leaf-stalks are short, 2-5 mm; leaf blade ovate to obovate-oblong, rarely nearly round, 3-8 x 1.5-5.2 cm, papery, base wedge-shaped, margin entire, sometimes slightly recurved, tip blunt, pointed, rarely tapering, very rarely retuse; veins 5 or 6 pairs, thin and obvious. Flowers are borne in cymes of 1 or 2 branches, few flowered; flower-cluster-stalk very short, 2-3 mm; flower-stalk 1-2 mm. Flowers are green; sepals rounded or somewhat kidney-shaped, about 0.5 x 0.75-1 mm; petals elliptic or broadly ovate, 1.25-1.5 x about 1 mm, reflexed at anthesis, blunt or slightly pointed. Disk margin slightly rounded toothed. Stamens are attached just below on disk margin. Nut is ellipsoid or sometimes slightly obovoid, 5-7 x 4-5 mm. Panakka Tree is found in South Asia, Madagascar and Mauritius. In India it is confined to Peninsular India. Flowering: September-January.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Chokkanahalli, Bangalore outskirts.

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