Chinese Perfume Tree
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Chinese Perfume Tree
E Introduced Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Chinese Perfume Tree • Hindi: Daula, Davada, पिथौनी Pithauni, पिथवन Pithavana, पितवन Pitvan • Kannada: Kabiyalbone • Malayalam: Muvila, Orila • Marathi: Davala, Debra, पिथवन Pithavana • Sanskrit: आकपर्णि Akparni, पिष्टपर्णि Pishtaparni, पिष्ठपर्णि Pishthaparni • Telugu: Anghriparnika, Jibilike, Kolaponna
Botanical name: Aglaia odorata    Family: Meliaceae (Neem family)
Synonyms: Aglaia oblanceolata, Aglaia pentaphylla, Aglaia sinensis

Chinese Perfume Tree is a shrub or small tree up to 10 m tall. Leaves are compound with leaflets 3-5, hairless, net-veined on both surfaces. Flowers are very small, in panicles in leaf-axils, strongly scented, used for flavoring tea and perfuming clothes. Flowers are numerous, tiny rounded yellow, each up to only 2 mm wide, in the shape of miniature balls that do not open up when they bloom. Intensity of flower fragrance is best during the day, often no fragrance at night. Each flower looks like a grain of rice, hence the common name Chinese rice flower. Fruit is a small cleistocarp. Chinese Perfume Tree is a native of Indochina, widely cultivated in the tropics.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale Photographed in cultivation in Maharashtra.

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