Madhuca longifolia

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Madhuca longifolia var. latifolia (Roxb.) A.Chev.
  • Synonyms : Madhuca indica J. F. Gmel.
  • Common Name : Indian Butter Tree, Mahua, Mahudo
  • Plant Family : Sapotaceae
  • Plant Form : Tree
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 1, 22, 26, 29
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Van Chetana Kendra

About Madhuca longifolia Plant :

  • Habit : A large tree with a short trunk and rounded crown.
  • Leaves : Elliptic, about 10 to 11 inches long, bluntly acuminate, acute at base, coriaceous, lateral nerves about 12 pairs, parallel and prominent below.
  • Inflorescence : Dense fascicles near the ends of branches.
  • Flowers :
    • Buds long, pointed, rufous-hairy.
    • Calyx 4-lobed, divided nearly to the base, the 2 outer subvalvate and enclosing the 2 inner. Corolla fleshy, yellow, lobes 7-9, erect, ovate-lanceolate, caducous.
    • Stamens inserted on the tube of the corolla, 24-26 in 3 rows, anthers hairy at the back.
    • Ovary red-hairy style long-exserted, hairy at the base.
  • Fruit : Berry ovoid, fleshy, greenish, 1-4 seeded.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : March - April
  • Significance :
    • A very useful tree.
    • The flowers are distilled for the preparation of country liquor.
    • The seeds are crushed to yield an oil called "vegetable butter" which is extensively used for soapmaking and also edible, and used for adulterating ghee.
    • The oil-cake is used to poison fish.