Travancore Marsh Nut
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Travancore Marsh Nut
E Native Photo: Joseph Thomas
Common name: Travancore Marsh Nut • Kannada: Kaadu gaeru, Kadu gobbi • Malayalam: Avukkaram, Malamcheru, Malancheru, Thenchera • Tamil: Kattu shenkottai, Kathashengkottei • Telugu: Natu sengote
Botanical name: Semecarpus travancoricus    Family: Anacardiaceae (Cashew family)
Synonyms: Cassuvium travancoricum, Semecarpus travancorica

Travancore Marsh Nut is a large tree, up to 35 m tall, with bark fissured, blaze pink. Branchlets are stout, hairless, latex black. Leaves are simple, alternate, spirally arranged, clustered at twig ends; leaf-stalk 5-8 cm long, stout, round, swollen at base, hairless. Leaf blade is 29-60 x 11-17 cm, wide obovate, tip rounded, base pointed, margin curled, leathery, hairless; midrib flat above, stout beneath; secondary nerves 14-18 pairs, straight, prominent, raised above, curving at margin. Flowers are polygamous, greenish-yellow borne in leaf-axils and at branch-ends, in hairless panicles. Sepals are 5, overlapping, deciduous; petals 5, ovate, hairless, overlapping; disc broad annular; stamens 5, inserted below the disc; filaments thread-like, as long as or longer than the petals in male flowers, shorter than petals in bisexual flowers. Drupe is obliquely oblong, black, up to 3 cm long, seated on fleshy hypocarp, 1-seeded. Travancore Marsh Nut is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: November-March.

Identification credit: Joseph Thomas Photographed in Idukki, kerala.

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