Careya arborea Roxb. - LECYTHIDACEAE

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Deciduous trees, bark fissured and flaky. Flowers with numerous stamens, twice as long as the petals, in three whorls, cream tinged purple-red at base. Fruit capsular, fleshy, seeds numerous.
Habit : Deciduous tree up to 20 m tall.
Trunk & bark : Bole straight in good sites, but often remaining stunted in poor sites. Bark fissured, flaking, greyish-brown.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete, glabrous.
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Leaves simple, alternate, glabrous, broadly obovate, apex obtuse with short tip, base attenuate into short petiole, margin finely toothed.
Midrib flat above, secondary veins obtuse, widely parallel, tertiary veins oblique (ladder-like or percurent).
Stipules absent.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers yellowish green with red purple stamens. Flowers arranged in an 1--10-flowered inflorescence, terminal on leafless twigs, bisexual, sessile. Stamens numerous, twice as long as the petals, in three whorls, cream tinged purple-red at base.
Fruits : Fruit capsule up to 6 cm, skin leathery, pulp fleshy, not splitting.
Seeds : Seeds many.

Habitat and ecology :

Common in semi-open forests and disturbed areas.

Distribution :

Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Burma (Myanmar), Malay Peninsula, Thailand, Indochina, Laos (Khammouan).

Remark/notes/uses :
The wood can be used for general construction. The bark gives a brown dye, and the juice of the bark tree and the calices of the flowers and often used for curing coughs and colds.The pulped leaves are used as a poultice.

Specimens studied :
BT 70, BT 70A, BT 903, BT 1066 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Gardner S., Sidisunthorn P. & Anusarnsunthorn V. 2000. A field guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand. Kobfai Publishing Project. Bangkok. Thailand.

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