Indian Butter Tree
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Indian Butter Tree
ative Photo: Amit Kumar
Common name: Indian Butter Tree • Hindi: फलवारा Phalwara, फुलवारा Phulvara, फुलवा Phulwa • Kannada: ಬೆಣ್ಣೆ ಮರ Benne Mara • Sanskrit: मधुका Madhuka, मधुकापुष्पि Madhukapuspi
Botanical name: Diploknema butyracea    Family: Sapotaceae (Mahua family)
Synonyms: Bassia butyracea, Aesandra butyracea, Madhuca butyracea

Indian Butter Tree is a tree up to 25 m tall. Branchlets are thick, round, channeled, and with warts, yellowish brown or brown velvety to hairless. Stipules are lanceshaped, about 5 mm, brown to pale yellow pubescent, falling off early. Leaves are elliptic-oblong, ovate, or ovate-oblong, 17-35 X 8-17 cm, leathery, yellowish-brown to brown velvety, base wedge- shaped, tip blunt to blunt with a narrow point. Flowers are borne in clusters in leaf axils. Flower stalks are 2-4.5 cm long, up to 5 cm in fruit. Sepals are 4 or 5 or 6, ovate, 0.9-1.5 X 0.6-1 cm. Flowers are 1.5-2 cm, petals 8-10, oblong, ovate, or narrowly obovate, 8-10 X 5-8 mm, tip blunt to pointed, margin usually irregularly toothed. Stamens are 20-40, 0.9-1.2 cm long, anthers arrow-shaped. Fruit is ovoid-globose to oblong, 2-2.5 X 1-1.5 cm, smooth, tip pointed, exocarp fleshy, 1-3-seeded. Indian Butter Tree is found in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 1600 m, from Uttarakhand to Sikkim, also in Andaman & Nicobar.

Identification credit: Umesh Tiwari Photographed in Pauri Garhwal,Uttarakhand.

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