Perfume Flower Tree
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Perfume Flower Tree
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Perfume Flower Tree • Kannada: ಗಿನ್ನನು ginnanu, ಹಣ್ಣ ಚಳ್ಳೆ hanna challe, ಮೇನಕಳ್ಳಿ maenakalli • Malayalam: മരുന്തൻകാമരം marunthankaamaram, വെള്ളമോടകം vellamotakam • Tulu: ಬೆರಿಮುಳ್ಳು berimullu • Mizo: Tho-sawi Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Fagraea ceilanica    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)
Synonyms: Fagraea coromandelina, Fagraea malabarica, Willughbeia obovata

Perfume Flower Tree is a climbing shrub or a small tree up to 10 m tall, with fragrant creamy-white flowers. Flowers last for only a day, but fill the space around with delicate sweet scent. Flowers at branch-ends, solitary or in dichasial cymes. Calyx broadly bell-shaped; lobes ovate to rounded, about 1 cm. Flower white, funnel-shaped, tube 3--3.5 cm; lobes obovate, 2.5-3 x about 2 cm. Stamens included; anthers oblong to narrowly ovate, 5-7 mm. Ovary ellipsoid to ovoid, hairless, 2-locular. Style threadlike, stigma obconical, slightly cup-shaped to peltate. When planted in ground, this plant will form a dense large shrub. Branchlets are stout, with prominent leaf scars. Stipules are scalelike, about 1 x 4 mm. Leaf-stalks is 1-5 cm long. Leaves are leathery and glossy, obovate, elliptic, ovate, 5-25 x 2-10 cm. Berries ovoid, ellipsoid, or subspherical, 3-5 x 2-4 cm, tip slightly to strongly beaked. Perfume Flower Tree is found in Indo-Malaysia, South India and Sri Lanka. Flowering: April-August.

Identification credit: Vinaya Raj Photographed in Munnar, Kerala & Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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