Notched Leaf Soapnut
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Notched Leaf Soapnut
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Notched Leaf Soapnut • Hindi: रीठा Reetha • Kannada: ಕೂಗಟೆ ಕಾಯಿ Koogate kayi, Kudale-kaye, Kukate-kayi, ಅಂಟುವಾಳ Antuvaala, ನೊರೆಕಾಯಿ Nore kaayi, ಅರಟಾಳ Arataala, ಅರುಟಾಳ Arutaala • Malayalam: Chavakayimaram, Punnan-kotta, Urvanjik-kaya, Uruangi • Marathi: aritha, rimgi, rimthi • Oriya: Ritha • Sanskrit: अरिष्टम् Arishta, arishtaphalam, Aristam, फेनिलम् Phenila, रिष्टम् Rishta • Tamil: Ponnankottai, Manipungan maram, Poovandikottai • Telugu: Kukudu-kayalu, Kungititkaya, Kunkudu-chettu • Tangkhul: Chaochumthei
Botanical name: Sapindus emarginatus    Family: Sapindaceae (Soapberry family)

Notched Leaf Soapnut is a medium to large size deciduous tree growing up to 18 m tall, with a 1.5 m trunk girth. Bark is grey, shiny, covered with rough falling scales. Leaves are pinnate, 12-30 cm long. Leaflets are 2-3 pairs, lance-shaped, elliptic or oblong, long pointed or with a notched tip, dull above. Flowers are white, polygamous, male flowers, numerous, a few bisexual, both found in the same rusty-velvety panicles. Bisexual flowers provide ample pollen and nectar to bees. Fruits are fleshy, 2-3 partially united, seeds pea-size, enclosed in a blackish, hard endocarp. Flowering: October-December.
Medicinal uses: Fruits possess several medicinal properties and are widely used for example in the treatment of asthma, colic and dysentery, and during childbirth.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg, Dinesh Valke, Tanay Bose, Satish Phadke Photographed in Chennai.

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