South-Indian Microtropis
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South-Indian Microtropis
P Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: South-Indian Microtropis
Botanical name: Microtropis wallichiana    Family: Celastraceae (Spike-thorn family)
Synonyms: Microtropis suborbiculata, Paracelastrus wallichianus

South-Indian Microtropis is a shrub or small tree with tiny creamish flowers borne in tight clusters. Leaves are elliptic or inverted-lanceshaped, 4-15 x 1.5-5 cm, tip bluntly pointed, base narrowed, somewhat leathery; nerves 4-9 pairs; leaf-stalk about 1.5 cm long to almost absent. Flowers are yellowish, in clusters in leaf-axils, bracteoles small, ovate, 1-2 mm long. Sepals are somewhat kidney-shaped, 1-2 x 2-3 mm, margin fringed. Petals are obovate-oblong, 2 mm long, blunt. Stamens are 2-3 mm long. Fruits are ellipsoid or oblong-obovoid, 10 x 5 mm with persistent style. South-Indian Microtropis is found in Western Ghats, in forests at about 1300 m, in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Sri Lanka and Malesia. Flowering: February-September.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Karnataka.

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