Fragrant Ashok
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Fragrant Ashok
ative Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Fragrant Ashok • Kannada: ಗೌರಿಮರ Gowri Mara, Kakechapaya • Malayalam: Pularei, Chella, Kodanji, Pullarei, Kodangi • Tamil: Nedunar, Kodanci
Botanical name: Monoon fragrans    Family: Annonaceae (Sugar-apple family)
Synonyms: Guatteria fragrans, Polyalthia fragrans

Fragrant Ashok is a trees up to 30 m tall with bark smooth, greenish-grey, blaze pink. Branchlets are floccose when young and round. Leaves are simple, alternate, distichous. Leaf-stalk is 0.4-0.8 cm long, stout; minutely hairy. Leaf blade is 12-25 x 4-7.5 cm, variable from narrow oblong, narrow-ovate, obovate, sometimes elliptic, tip pointed to tapering, base rounded, sometimes asymmetric, shining above, minutely hairy on nerves beneath; secondary nerves 15-23 pairs, prominent, ascending; tertiary nerves slender, percurrent, nearly parallel. Flowers are borne in clusters, sometimes in racemes on older branches, greenish yellow. Sepals are 3, circular, 4 x 3 mm, velvet-hairy petals 6 nearly equal, linear-lanceshaped, woolly. Stamens are numerous, wedge-shaped. Fruit is aggregate of berries; berry 3-5, 1.5-2 cm, obliquely ellipsoid to broadly ovoid, blunt, hoary puberulous, ash coloured; seed one, round, ovoid. Fragrant Ashok is endemic to the Western Ghats, South and Central Sahyadris. Flowering: September-November.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Sirsi, Karnataka.

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