Stiff Spindle Tree
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Stiff Spindle Tree
D Native Photo: Saroj Kasaju
Common name: Stiff Spindle Tree
Botanical name: Euonymus frigidus    Family: Celastraceae (Spike-thorn family)
Synonyms: Euonymus porphyreus, Euonymus burmanicus, Euonymus roseoperulatus

Stiff Spindle Tree is deciduous shrub to small tree, 3-7 m tall; branches and twigs moderately sturdy, striped, brown or gray-brown when dry. Leaf-stalks are less than 1 cm, leaf blade thickly papery or thinly leathery, variously elliptic-lanceshaped to ovate-elliptic, 6-11 × 2-3.5 cm, widest at mid-blade, base subrotund, wedge-shaped, or narrowed, margin finely crenulate, tip tapering or pointed; lateral veins 5-7 pairs, disappearing before reaching margin. Flower-cluster-stalks are slender, 7-10 cm, 1 or 2 x dichotomously branched, several flowered; flower-stalk slender, 5-6 mm. Flowers are 4-merous (or 5-merous), less than 8 mm in diameter; sepals nearly round, short. Petals are reddish to purple or brown, ovate, base wedge-shaped. Ovary weakly angulate. Capsules are green to brown, or yellow-brown when dry, nearly spherical, about 1 cm in diam., with 4 short and blunt wings, less than about 6 mm when fully developed. Aril bright red. Stiff Spindle Tree is found in the Himalayas, east to China at altitudes of 500-4000 m. Flowering: May-July.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju, Tapas Chakrabarty Photographed in Jaubari, Sandakphu

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