Indian Olive
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Indian Olive
ative Photo: Thingnam Sophia
Common name: Indian Olive • Bengali: Jalpai • Manipuri: ꯆꯣꯔꯐꯣꯟ Chorphon • Mizo: Zawlphai
Botanical name: Elaeocarpus floribundus     Family: Elaeocarpaceae (Rudraksh family)

Indian Olive is an evergreen moderate sized tree with spreading crown and clean bole of 12-16 m length. It occurs in evergreen forests of NE India, up to 1500 m elevation. Leaves are ovate-elliptic, thinly leathery, varying from 6.5 x 3 cm to 19 x 8.5 cm, with a long pointed tip, and toothed margin. White flowers are borne in many-flowered racemes, 2.5-12 cm long, in leaf axils. Flowers are 5-merous, 0.5 cm long, comprising of 25 stamens, very interesting. There are 5 sepals and 5 white petals which are divided into many frilly segments. Fruit is light green drupe, 2 to 5 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm in girth. Both ends of fruit are pointed, outer surface smooth having a mesocarp fleshy and pleasantly acidic, edible. Stone -3 celled, each having a spindle shaped seed. It is often planted in home garden in NE India for its fruits, which are used for pickle and also have medicinal value. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Thingnam Sophia Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.

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