Kusum Tree
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Kusum Tree
ative Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Ceylon oak, Lac tree, Gum lac tree • Hindi: Kusum कुसुम • Telugu: Posku • Marathi: कुसुम्ब Kusumb • Gujarati: કોસુમ્બ Kosumb • Tamil: Kumbadiri • Malayalam: Cottilai • Kannada: ಚಕೋಟ Chakota, ಸಗಟೆ Sagate, ಸಗಡೆ Sagade, ಕಾಕುಟ Kaakuta, ಕಾಕಡ Kaakada, ಕೆಂದಾಳೆ Kendaale, ಕೆಂದಾಳ Kendaala • Manipuri: ꯆꯥ Chaa
Botanical name: Schleichera oleosa    Family: Sapindaceae (Soapberry family)

Kusum is a beautiful tree with a broad, shady crown, found widespread in Tropical Himalayas (Punjab to Nepal), India, Ceylon, Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, Malaysia. This tree is mostly noticed because of its bright red leaves when they are new. In India this happens around March. The leaves are pinnate, with each leaf having 2-4 pairs of leaflets. Flowers are tiny, occuring in short dense yellow clusters. The flowers are hardly noticeable. The fruit is about the size of a small plum.

Identification credit: Pravin Kawale Photographed in Alibag, Maharashtra & Delhi.

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