Spiny Maclura
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Spiny Maclura
P Native Photo: N Arun Kumar
Common name: Spiny Maclura • Kannada: Bendaka • Malayalam: Venninkodi • Tamil: Paal kaattaanchi, Koratti, Kattanimullu, Parankolachedi
Botanical name: Maclura spinosa    Family: Moraceae (Mulberry family)

Spiny Maclura is a large thorny straggling shrub, up to 15 m or more, with milky latex. Leaves are alternate, elliptic-ovate to inverted-lanceshaped, to 8 x 4.5 cm, (sub)leathery, base pointed, tip broadly ovate; leaf-stalk to 1.5 cm; stipules minute. Staminate and pistillate flowers are stalkless, aggregated in groups of 1-3, in leaf-axils, stalked, head-like clusters; flower-cluster-stalk up to 1 cm. Male: bract basal; bracteoles intermixed with flowers. Tepals are 4, ovate-lanceshaped. Stamens 4, inflexed in bud; anthers reflexed later. Pistillode minute, hairy. Female: Tepals are 4-toothed, fused into a fleshy head. Ovary sunken; style simple. Syncarps are irregularly shaped, more or less angled, to 1 cm wide, enclosing a few anthocarps, with achenes immersed. Spiny Maclura is Peninsular India and Sri Lanka.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Bangalore & Hosur, Karnataka.

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