Deccan Litsea
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Deccan Litsea
E Native Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Deccan Litsea, Deccan tallow laurel, Ganapaty tree • Konkani: चिकना chikna • Malayalam: Mala-poenna • Marathi: चिकणा chikana, कुरक kurak • Telugu: నరమామిడి naramamidi Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Litsea quinqueflora    Family: Lauraceae (Laurel family)
Synonyms: Actinodaphne quinqueflora, Litsea deccanensis, Litsea tomentosa

Deccan Litsea is a tree up to 6 m tall. Branchlets are round, becoming hairless. Leaves are simple, alternate, spiral; leaf-stalk 1.5 cm long, planoconvex in cross section, hairless. Leaf blade is 7-10 x 2.5-4 cm, obovate to inverted-lanceshaped or elliptic, somewhat leathery, hairless, tip blunt to pointed, base pointed to wedge-shaped, margin entire, hairless, glaucous beneath; secondary nerves 6-9 pairs. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils or laterally in umbels. Flowers are up to 25 in an umbellule, flower-stalks 4 mm long, tepals 3-5 or absent, 2 mm long, densely hairy; stamens 25-30, filaments bearded. Berry is 6 mm across, hairless; single seeded. Deccan Litsea is endemic to the Western Ghats - rare in South Sahyadri, Palakkad hills and Wayanad. Flowering: April-May.
Medicinal uses: Deccan Litsea is used as a remedy for inflammatory disorders by local healers of Kottayam district, Kerala .

Identification credit: Satish Pardeshi, S. Jeevith Photographed in Maharashtra & Tamil Nadu.

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