Bishop Wood
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Bishop Wood
ative Photo: J. M. Garg
Common name: Bishop Wood, Tiger tree • Assamese: Urium • Bengali: Kainjal • Garo: Asri, Bolasri, Thichri • Hindi: Bhillar, पनियाला Paniala, Kein, Kanji • Kannada: Goparini, ಗೊಬ್ರನೇರಳೆ Gobbara nerale, ನೀಲಿಮರ Neeli mara, ನಿಗುರುಳ್ಳೆ Nigurulle • Khasi: Dieng jamew, Dieng soh tung • Malayalam: Nili, Cholavenga, Thiruppu, Mlachethayan • Manipuri: ꯊꯩꯆꯥꯛ Theichak • Marathi: Boke • Mizo: Khuangthli, Khauangthli • Oriya: Dingiri • Tamil: Thondi, Milachityan • Telugu: Nalupu-musthi, Panta
Botanical name: Bischofia javanica    Family: Phyllanthaceae (Amla family)
Synonyms: Bischofia trifoliata

Bishop Wood is an evergreen or semievergreen woody tree with a maximum height of 40 m and diameter of 2.3 m. The relatively short trunk is erect, but branches are low.Though coarse at maturity, the bark is nearly smooth, grayish brown to brown, and 1 cm thick, and contains a red milky sap that becomes a resinous semi-solid when dried. Leaves are trifoliate, rarely palmate, with stalk 8-20 cm in length. Each papery leaflet may be ovate, elliptic, subovate, or elliptic-ovate, 7-15 cm long and 4-8 cm wide, pointed and broadly wedge-shaped to obtuse at base, with two to three teeth per centimeter along the serrated margin. The stalk of the terminal leaflet is 2-5 cm in length, while that of lateral leaflet is 5-20 mm. Small greenish-yellow flowers are borne on dioecious panicles in leaf axils. The male inflorescence is 8-13 cm long and pubescent to glabrous, while the female inflorescence is 15-17 cm long and pendant. Appearing in August to October, berry-like fruits are light brown, globular or subglobular, 6-13 mm in diameter, containing oblong seeds 5 mm in length. Flowering: February-May.

Identification credit: J. M. Garg Photographed in Boanical Gardens, Kolkata & Karnataka.

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