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Nilgiri Privet
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Nilgiri Privet
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Nilgiri Privet • Kannada: ಕೋಲಿ ಮರ Koli mara • Malayalam: പിങ്കൻ pinkan, പുന്നു punnu • Marathi: कुंगीण kungin, लोखंडी lokhandi, मेडसिंग medsing • Tamil: சிற்றழிஞ்சில் cirralincil, கோலி koli, புன்கு punku Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Ligustrum robustum subsp. perrottetii    Family: Oleaceae (Jasmine family)
Synonyms: Ligustrum neilgherrense, Ligustrum perrottetii, Ligustrum candolleanum

Nilgiri Privet is a small tree up to 5 m tall. The subspecies name perrottetii is in the honour of George Samuel Perrottet (1793-1870), a Swiss-born, French botanist and horticulturist, who spent the later part of his life working as a botanist in Pondicherry. Bark is pale brown, warty, blaze white. Young branchlets are round, minutely velvety, warty. Oppositely arranged leaves are carried on stalks up to 1 cm long. Leaves are 1.5-5 cm long, 1.2-3.2 cm wide, elliptic to elliptic- obovate, tip pointed or having a short narrow point. Leaf base is rounded to flat, margin entire. Midrib is channeled above, secondary nerves are 3-6 pairs. White fragrant flowers are borne in stout, dense panicles. Fruit is obovoid, about 2 cm long, dark purple, with 1-3 seeds. Nilgiri Privet is found along margin of semi-evergreen forests up to 2300 m, all along the Western Ghats. It is also found in Andaman and Laccadive.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale, Shrikant Ingalhalikar Photographed at Harishchandragad, Maharashtra.

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