Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution
|Diagnostic characters :||Evergreen trees with sympodial branching. Leaves simple, alternate and spiral. Petiole swollen at base and top. Flowers unisexual cauliflorous. Fruit fleshy, orange to purple.|
|Habit :||Small evergreen tree of more than 10 m. high, branches sympodially developed.|
|Trunk & bark :||Trunk crooked and slightly fluted at base. Bark pale cream or orange-brown, smooth or slightly fissured and flaking.|
|Branches and branchlets or twigs :||Branches terete and glabrous.|
|Exudates :||Exudate absent.|
|Leaves :||Leaves simple, 9-25 by 3-9 cm. alternate and spirally-clustered at intervals along the twigs, narrowly elliptic or obovate, apex acuminate, base acute, margin entire or slightly undulate, reddish when young, finely brown-hairy, becoming dark green and shiny above and glabrous when mature. |
Midrib flat above, prominent below, secondary veins oblique to the midrib, widely parallel, looped and joined at margin, tertiary veins reticulate.
Petiole slender swollen at top and base.
|Inflorescences or flowers :||Flowers small grouped in raceme, axillary to cauliflorous, males and females on different trees. Males smaller arranged in slender clusters of 10 cm. long, mostly at the end of the branches, individual flower with short pedicel. Female slightly bigger, racemes clustered of 30 cm. long on old branches and main trunk.|
|Fruits :||The fruit is a berry of 2.5 – 3.5 cm. in diameter, ovoid or ellipsoid, hanging along old branches and main trunk, pale orange ripening reddish to purplish.|
|Seeds :||2-4 large seeds surrounded by a juicy translucent or pinkish pulp.|
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