Mitha Guggal   
Foto info
Mitha Guggal
ative Photo: Satish Phadke
Common name: Mitha Guggal • Hindi: Mitha guggal
Botanical name: Commiphora stocksiana    Family: Burseraceae (Torchwood family)
Synonyms: Balsamea stocksiana, Balsamodendron pubescens

Mitha Guggal is a shrub or a small tree, up to 4 m tall. Branches are covered with papery bark and young shoots are velvety. Alternately arranged leaves, carried on 1-1.5 cm long stalks, are 3-5 foliolate, velvety. Lateral leaflets are oblong, round or obovate, entire, 0.5-1.3 cm long, 0.3-1 cm broad. Central leaflet is stalked, 0.5-1.5 cm long, 0.5-1 cm broad, obovate, oval or broadly elliptic, entire. Hermaphrodite and male flowers are present on the same plant, stalkless, white to red, 3-5 mm long. Bracts are 2, opposite. Sepals are 4, fused into a 4-lobed tube, lobes valvate, l-2 mm long, velvety outside. Petals are 4 free, spreading, acute, 3-5 mm long, 1-1.5 mm broad. Stamens are 8, free, equal, usually shorter than the petals, 3-5 mm long. Fruit is 0.5-l.5 cm long, red when ripe, marked with 4, alternately short and long white lines, round, mucronate, mesocarp yellow, 4 lined, fused at the base on one side and up to the middle (or more) on the other side, splittingg along the white lines from base upwards. Flowering: April-July.

Identification credit: Satish Phadke
Photographed in Pune, Maharashtra.
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