FoI
South Indian Marble Tree   
Foto info
South Indian Marble Tree
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: South Indian Marble Tree, Jew's plum • Kannada: bike, bikki, hanaltadi, hanillatade, hennalalade • Malayalam: kattakara, malamkara, malankara • Marathi: kasa • Tamil: malankarai
Botanical name: Elaeocarpus variabilis    Family: Elaeocarpaceae (Rudraksh family)
Synonyms: Elaeocarpus glandulosus, Elaeocarpus oblongus

South Indian Marble Tree is a tree up to 20 m tall. Bark is brownish, warty, wood white to cream. Branchlets are round with fallen leaf scars, warty. Leaves are simple, alternate, spiral, clustered at twig ends. Leaf-stalk is 3 cm long, planoconvex in cross section, purple. Leaves are up to 8 × 5 cm, broad elliptic to elliptic-oblong, tip long-pointed, base narrow, margin toothed, somewhat leathery, hairless, red when young. Midrib and nerves purple; secondary nerves about 7 pairs, forked with glabrous domatia at axils beneath. Flowers are borne in racemes in leaf axils, with purple branches, up to 15 cm long. Flower-stalks are 1 cm long, purple. Flowers are white with frilly petals. Anthers are neither bearded and nor awned. Fruit is ellipsoid, 4 × 3 cm, 1-seeded. South Indian Marble Tree is endemic to the Western Ghats - occasional in South, Central and south Maharashtra Sahyadris.

Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar
Photographed at Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra.
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