White Combretum
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White Combretum
P Native Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: White Combretum • Bengali: Alang, Alena • Hindi: Paibal, Punk • Kannada: ಬೊಂತತೀಗೆ Bontateege • Mizo: Leihrui-sen • Nepali: काली लहरा Kaalee Laharaa, थक्यौली Thakyoulee
Botanical name: Combretum roxburghii    Family: Combretaceae (Rangoon creeper family)
Synonyms: Combretum decandrum, Combretum album

White Combretum is a large climber with branchlets reddish hairy when young. Leaves are opposite; leaf-stalk 5-7 mm, leaf blade oblong-elliptic to obovate-oblong, 6-13 x 3-6 cm, both surfaces mostly hairless, base blunt or blunt-rounded, tip blunt, with a tail; lateral veins in 6 or 7 pairs. Flowers are borne at branch-ends and in leaf-axils, in laxly compound spikes 5-15 cm, usually grouped at branchlet tip and forming a lax, leafy panicle. Bracts are persistent at full flowering, lanceshaped, 4-6 mm, woolly. Sepal tube is distally cup-shaped, 3-5 mm, below golden woolly; sepals 5, broadly triangular, about 1 mm, tip aristate. Petals are 5, obovate-oblong, about 2 mm, both surfaces yellow hairy. Stamens are 10, only slightly protruding, about 2 mm, not exceeding petals. Fruit is glossy, cylindric, 5-winged, 2-3 × 0.8-1 cm, hairless, tip tapering. White Combretum is found in SW Yunnan, Bangladesh, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam. Flowering: October-June.

Identification credit: Bubai Bera Photographed in Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary, Orissa.

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