Laurel Sapphire Berry
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Laurel Sapphire Berry
E Native Photo: Anurag Sharma
Common name: Laurel Sapphire Berry • Coorgi: ಮಂಜಟ್ಟೆ manjatte • Hindi: भोलिया bholiya, सोध sodh • Kannada: ಚಂಗ chang (OR chung), ಲೊಧ lodha • Lepcha: gyong, palyok-kung • Malayalam: പാച്ചോറ്റി paccotti • Marathi: मिरजोली mirajoli • Nepali: खोल्मे kholme • Sanskrit: लोध्र lodhra • Tamil: கம்பளிவெட்டை kambli-vetti • Telugu: లొద్దుగు loddugu • Mizo: Thingvut Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Symplocos cochinchinensis var. laurina    Family: Symplocaceae (Saphire-berry family)
Synonyms: Symplocos laurina, Symplocos spicata, Symplocos terminalis

Laurel Sapphire Berry is an evergreen tree, up to 15 m tall, bark light grey, thin, smooth; blaze creamy white. Leaves are simple, alternate, estipulate; leaf-stalk 6-15 mm, slender, hairless, grooved above, Leaf-blade is 5.5-15 x 2.5-6 cm, elliptic, elliptic-lanceshaped or elliptic-oblong, base pointed to narrowed, tip pointed or tapering, margin rounded toothed-sawtoothed, curled, hairless, yellow when dry, leathery or papery; lateral nerves 7-8 pairs, pinnate, slender, hairless; intercostae netveined, faint. Flowers are bisexual, white, in simple or branched spikes, 7 cm long, velvet-hairy, in leaf axils. Bracts are solitary at the base of each flower-stalk; bracteoles early cauducous; calyx tube adnate to the ovary, lobes 5, minute, lobes 1 mm, triangular; flower 1 cm across, petals 5, ovate, 3 mm, recurved; stamens many, equal, arranged in 5 group; ovary 1 mm, inferior, spherical 2-3-celled, ovules 2 in each cell, drooping from the inner angle; style 5 mm, simple; stigma capitate. Fruit is a drupe, 8 mm across, hairless, flask-shaped, spherical ribbed, purple, crowned by sepals; seeds 1-3, oblong. Laurel Sapphire Berry is found in South India, Indo-Malesia and China. Flowering: March-May.

Identification credit: Anurag Sharma Photographed in Chikamagalur, Karntaka & Nelliyampathy, Kerala.

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