Rusty Kanak Champa
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Rusty Kanak Champa
E Native Photo: Regy Yohannan
Common name: Rusty Kanak Champa • Malayalam: Ellooti, Malamthodali, Malamthodali, Chittilaplavu
Botanical name: Pterospermum rubiginosum    Family: Sterculiaceae (Cacao family)
Synonyms: Pterospermadendron rubiginosum

Rusty Kanak Champa is a large tree up to 28 m tall. Bark is brown, large flaky or exfoliating; outer bark red and inner cream. Young branchlets are slender, round, tawny velvet-hairy and star-shaped hairy. Leaves are simple, alternate, distichous; stipules lateral, with two linear subulate appendages, densely star-shaped woolly, falling off; leaf-stalk about 0.1 cm long, round, star-shaped woolly. Leaf blade is 4.5-10 x 1.5-3 cm, narrow oblong-lanceshaped, tip tapering, base asymmetric often subpeltate, margin entire, chartaceous, tawny velvet-hairy and star-shaped hairy; midrib flat above; 3-nerved at base; secondary nerves 5-7 pairs, ascending. Flowers are white, solitary, in leaf-axils; flower-stalks up to 0.5 cm long. Sepal cup is tubular, cylindric, brown-hoary outside, splitting into 5 linear sepals, white silky within. Petals are 5, white, linear-oblong, slightly smaller than sepals; staminal column adnate to the gynophore, bearing 5 groups of 3 stamens each between the staminodes; ovary superior, cylindric, ridged, woolly, within the tip of the column, 5-celled; style hairy at base; stigma simple. Capsules are brown, 5-angled, club-shaped, 5 x 1.3 cm, hairless; seeds winged at one end. Rusty Kanak Champa is endemic to Southern Western Ghats.

Identification credit: Regy Yohannan Photographed in Kerala.

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