Rosy Sapphire Berry
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Rosy Sapphire Berry
E Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Rosy Sapphire Berry • Malayalam: Malankuruvi
Botanical name: Symplocos macrophylla subsp. rosea    Family: Symplocaceae (Saphire-berry family)
Synonyms: Symplocos rosea, Symplocos racemosa Wight ex C.B.Cl.

Rosy Sapphire Berry is a tree up to 5 m tall; young parts velvet-hairy. Flowers are bisexual, pink, in unbranched spikes in leaf-axils, 4 cm long, velvet-hairy; bracts solitary at the base of each flower-stalk. Bracteoles fall off early; sepal tube is adnate to the ovary, sepals 5, 1.2 cm, ovate pointed, woolly. Flowers are 10 mm across, hairless, petals 5, 2.5 mm long, oblong, blunt; stamens numerous. Leaves are simple, alternate, without stipules; leaf-stalk 7-13 mm, slender, sparsely haired, grooved above. Leaf blade is 7.5-17.5 x 3.5-7.5 cm, inverted-lanceshaped, elliptic-oblong or elliptic obovate, base wedge-shaped, tip tapering, bluntly tapering, margin sawtoothed, sparsely haired, leathery; lateral nerves 6-7 pairs, slender, pinnate, prominent; intercostae netveined, faint. Fruit is a drupe, 1.5 x 0.5 cm, oblong, blue, hairless, crowned by the sepals; seeds 1-3, oblong. Rosy Sapphire Berry is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: March-May.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Anamalais, Tamil Nadu.

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