Fragrant Himalayan Holly
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Fragrant Himalayan Holly
E Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Fragrant Himalayan Holly
Botanical name: Ilex odorata    Family: Aquifoliaceae (Holly family)
Synonyms: Ilex theifolia, Ilex gaultheriifolia

Fragrant Himalayan Holly is an evergreen tree, 5-7 m tall; bark brownish grey, smooth, covered with white streaks. Leaves are elliptic-oblong, lanceshaped or oblong-lanceshaped, 3-8 x 1.5-3 cm, tip pointed to shortly tapering, with a tail 5-17 mm long, margin sawtoothed, leathery, shining above, pale below, base narrow, wedge-shaped; lateral nerves 7-9 pairs, slender; leaf-stalks about 0.7 cm long, channelled; stipules 2, 0.5-0.75 mm long, falling off. Male flowers are borne in leaf-axils, in corymb-like cymes. Flowers are 4-5-merous, white; bracts small, falling off. Flower-cluster-stalks 0.5-3 mm long, flower-stalks 1-4 mm long. Sepal-cup is 1.75-2 mm broad; lobes ovate, rounded, triangular. Petals oblong-lanceshaped, 2.5-3 x 1-2 mm, united below. Stamens are longer than petals; anthers ellipsoid. Female inflorescence is fascicled or crowded on short in leaf-axils branches; flower-stalks 2-6 mm long, Staminodes shorter than petals. Fruits are stalked, spherical or ovoid, 4-6 mm across, red-brown to black when ripe, rugose. Fragrant Himalayan Holly is found in the Himalayas and Vietnam, at altitudes of 1000-1500 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Navendu Pagé Photographed in Hmuifang, Mizoram.

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