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P Native Photo: S. Jeevith
Common name: Cleyera, Japanese Cleyera • Assamese: Panijikiri • Kannada: Kamoni, Kaymone, Kemmani, Kemmuni, Kiamonu
Botanical name: Ternstroemia gymnanthera    Family: Theaceae (Tea family)
Synonyms: Ternstroemia parvifolia, Ternstroemia lushia, Cleyera gymnanthera

Cleyera is a shrub or small tree up to 15 m tall. Bark is grey, irregularly scaly when mature; blaze pinkish. Young branchlets reddish, round, hairless. Leaves are simple, alternate, spiral, clustered at twig ends; leaf-stalk 0.5-1.5 cm long, reddish, channeled, hairless; blade 4-10 x 1.2-3.5 cm, elliptic to elliptic-obovate, tip pointed or blunt and sometimes with retuse tip, base decurrent or narrowed, margin entire and curled, hairless, leathery, dark green and shining above, pale beneath; midrib slightly channeled above; secondary nerves and tertiary nerves obscure. Flowers are unisexual, yellow, in leaf-axils or extra in leaf-axils, solitary; flower-stalk 3 cm long. Male flowers similar to bisexual flowers but ovary reduced to a pistillode. Bisexual flowers: bracteoles triangular to triangular-ovate, 1.5-2.5 mm, margin glandular toothed, tip pointed; sepals ovate to long ovate, 4-7 x 3-4 mm, hairless, margin glandular toothed, tip rounded; petals pale yellow, obovate, 6-9 × 4-6 mm, tip rounded and retuse; stamens 4-5 mm; anthers oblong, longer than filaments. Berry is ovoid or spherical, reddish when ripe; seeds 4-6. Cleyera is native to East Himalaya, South India and Indo-China, found in forests, thickets, at altitudes of 200-2800 m. Flowering: May-July.

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

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