Wild Tea
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Wild Tea
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Wild Tea • Garhwal: Dalmia • Kannada: ಕುರಿಗಂಧ Kurigandha, ತಪರಾಲ Taparaala, ತಂಬರಲ್ಲಿ Tambaralli, ನಾಟಡಿಕೆ Naatadike, ಪೊಪ್ಲಿ Popli, ಬನಿಗನಿ Banigani • Kumaon: Dalmia • Malayalam: പുല്ലുരുവി pulluruvi, വെള്ളചന്ദനം Vellacandanam • Marathi: चिमट Chimat, लोटळ Lotal, पोपली Popali • Nepali: Jhuri, नुण्ढिकि Nundhiki • Tamil: Paral
Botanical name: Osyris lanceolata    Family: Santalaceae (Sandalwood family)
Synonyms: Osyris quadripartita, Osyris wightiana, Osyris arborea

Wild Tea is a plant 2-5 m tall. Branches are slender, 3-angled when young. Leaf blade is grayish green, 1.2-6 × 0.6-2 cm, leathery, sometimes wrinkled on both surfaces. Leaf tip is pointed, cusped or rounded. Male inflorescences are 2-4-flowered, carried on up to 1.1 cm long stalk. Female inflorescences are 1-3-flowered. Male flowers are carried on 4-8 mm long stalks. Flowers are about 4 mm in diameter, with 3 petals, yellow or green, sometimes flushed brown, about 1.5 mm long. Stamens are 3, filaments very short, disk fleshy. Female flowers are usually solitary, sometimes up to 4 in clusters. Flower stalks are up to 2.5 cm long, enlarged at the tip. Bisexual flowers are similar to female but with fertile stamens; stigmas 3. Fruit is round or pear-shaped, 4.5-10 mm in diameter, orange to red when ripe, drying pale blackish. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar, R. Vijayasankar Photographed near Amby Valley, Lonavala, Maharashtra.

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