Java Cherry
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Java Cherry
E Native Photo: Joju P. Alappatt
Common name: Java Cherry • Andaman: Red Thingan, Lal Thingan
Botanical name: Prunus javanica    Family: Rosaceae (Rose family)
Synonyms: Prunus nitida, Prunus oblonga, Prunus martabanica

Java Cherry is a tree up to 35 m tall, rarely buttressed, bark smooth, peeling, red- to dark-brown, with a distinct smell. Leaves are ovate to oblong-ovate, rarely lanceshaped, 8-20 x 3-7.5 cm, base rounded to pointed, margin entire, tip tapering to long-tapering, surface densely black-dotted beneath, herbaceous to slighdy leathery, with 8-12 pairs of nerves, venation not very distinct, both sides hairless, basal glands small, usually 2 on the leaf-stalk just below the blade, sometimes in the margin of the blade. Stipules narrowly triangular to lanceshaped, up to 5 x 1.5 mm, fused with their excentric keeled midribs. Flowers are 5(-6)-merous. Sepals are triangular, 0.5-1 mm long, hairy at tip. Petals are elliptic to round, 2.5-4 mm long, white. Stamens are 25-50, filaments up to 6 mm, anthers up to 1 mm long. Ovary is hairless, style up to 4.5 mm. Fruits are ovoid to ellipsoid, base rounded, tip pointed, 1.5-2.3 x 0.7-1.2 cm, red when ripe, the endocarp hairless inside. Java Cherry is found in Java, peninsular Malaysia, Yunnan, Thailand, Sumatra, Borneo, Palawan, Sulawesi, Bali, Moluccas, New Guinea, Andamans, and Myanmar. Flowering: December- January.
Medicinal uses: Bark is used for rice-bins, as vermicide for buffaloes, and as fish poison.

Identification credit: Joju P. Alappatt Photographed in Saitankhadi, South Andamans, Andaman & Nicobar.

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