South Indian Wild Olive
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South Indian Wild Olive
P Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: South Indian Wild Olive, Wild Olive • Kannada: Melekollija, ಹಿಟ್ಟೆಲೆ Hittele, ಕೆರಹುಳಿ Kerahuli, ಹೆಜ್ಜಾಲ hejjaala, ಹುಲಿಗೆ Hulige, ಗುನ್ನಾಮದಪಟ್ಟೆ Gunnaamada patte • Malayalam: കയലമ്ബുവല്ലീ Kayalampuvalli, kylambuvalli • Marathi: अम्बगुल Ambgool, Nurgi, अम्बगुल Ambgul, Nildook • Tamil: Perunkuliri, kolungai, kulangi, kulari
Botanical name: Elaeagnus latifolia    Family: Elaeagnaceae (Oleaster family)
Synonyms: Elaeagnus kologa, Elaeagnus arborea, Elaeagnus elliptica

South Indian Wild Olive is a large woody climber with young stem, leaves below and inflorescence densely scaly with silvery and coppery scales mixed. It is distinct from the East Himalayan species, the Wild Olive. The two species can be easily distinguished by their leaves. Leaves are alternate, 4-8 x 2.5-4 cm, elliptic oblong, pointed to slightly tapering at tip, narrowed at base, densely scaly below, sparsely so above when young. Flower racemes are short, in leaf-axils, 5-7-flowered. Flowers 0.6-0.7 cm across. Perianth bell-shaped; tube 0.8-1 cm long; lobes 4, 0.2-0.3 cm long, triangular. Stamens 4, included. Ovary 0.2-0.3 cm long, 1-celled; ovule 1; style rolled and included, silvery hairy; stigma lateral. Drupe 1-1.5 x 0.8-1 cm, oblong, orange-red on opening. South Indian Wild Olive is found in South India, Sri Lanka, Andaman & Nicobar, and SE Asia. Flowering: January-February.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed in Maharashtra.

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