Upas Tree
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Upas Tree
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Upas Tree, ako, ipoh, upas-tree • Malayalam: Aranthal, Maravuri; Aranjelli • Tamil: Mara-uri; Aranthelli
Botanical name: Antiaris toxicaria    Family: Moraceae (Mulberry family)
Synonyms: Ficus challa, Antiaris zeylanica

Upas Tree is a large tree, growing up to 25-40 m tall, with a trunk up to 40 cm diameter, often buttressed at the base, with pale grey bark. The leaves are elliptic to obovate, 7-19 cm long and 3-6 cm broad, tip obtusely long-pointed. Male flowers are greenish yellow, in axillary stalked spikes. Female flowers are solitary in leaf axils. The fruit is a red or purple drupe 2 cm in diameter. This soft, edible fruit is dispersed by birds, bats, possums monkeys, deer, antelopes and humans. The tree grows rapidly and attains maturity within 20 years. Upas Tree is found throughout the Paleotropics. In the Western Ghats it is found in South and Central Sahyadris.

Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar
Photographed in Lonavala , Maharashtra.
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