Robust Helicia
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Robust Helicia
E Native Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Robust Helicia • Kannada: ತೆಗಲಮುಗು Tegalamugu, ತೆಗೆಲಮುಗು Tegelamugu • Mizo: Sialhma
Botanical name: Helicia robusta    Family: Proteaceae (Silver oak family)
Synonyms: Helicia glabrata, Helicia javanica, Helicia travancorica

Robust Helicia is a small tree, 6-11 m tall, bark pale brown; branches hairless. Flowers are borne in short racemes laterally or in leaf-axils. Rachis is 6-8 cm long. Bracts are minute, linear, fringed with hairs on margins. Flowers are dense, usually 2 or more for each bract; flower-stalks of pairs fused, 0.4-0.5 cm long. Flower tube is slender, 1-1.3 cm long, splitting into 4-lobes in full length and curled back. Stamens are 4, attached with a short filament to the blade of the lobe; anthers about 0.2 cm long, linear; connective produced to a short appendage. Ovary is 1-celled, ovules 2; style as long as perianth tube; stigma linear, thick. Leaves are 4-6 x 2-3.5 cm, elliptic-inverted-lanceshaped, slightly tapering at tip, narrowed at base, toothed on margins, sparsely hairy above, hairless below; veins ending in thickened glands at dentations; leaf-stalks 0.8-1 cm long, thickened at base. Drupe is spherical, 1-1.5 cm diam., green, 1-2 seeded. Robust Helicia is found in NE India, Bhutan and Vietnam. It is also found in Western Ghats. Flowering: September-February.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh Photographed in Cherrapunji, Meghalaya.

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