Saraca indica

Author: Linnaeus

Morphological description
Tree to 24 m tall and 34 cm in diam (indica Saraca compl 428840 ).

Leaves (1-)2-4(-7)-jugate (indica Saraca ylf 428839), subsessile to shortly petioled; petiole and rachis (0.5-)7-25(-35) cm long. Leaflets chartaceous or subcoriaceous, elliptic-oblong or -lanceolate, or lanceolate, (5-)15-20(-30) by (1.5-)3.5-6(-11) cm, the lowest pair usually smaller; glabrous; apex acuminate; base cuneate, obtuse, or rounded, symmetric, rarely the lowest pair obscurely subcordate; midrib slightly elevated above, prominent beneath; nerves 5-11 per side; petiolules (0-)4-10 mm.

Inflorescences (indica Saraca infl 428838) up to 10(-22) cm wide, slightly pubescent or subglabrous, main branches up to c. 14 cm long, 1.5-5 mm diameter; bracts elliptic or ovate-oblong, 3-8 by 1.5-4.5 mm, caducous or persistent, puberulous and/or minutely ciliate on the margin; bracteoles caducous or persistent during anthesis, erecto-patent to spreading, broadly elliptic or ovate, 3-8 by 1.5-5 mm, glabrous or minutely ciliate on the margin; pedicels (4-)12-20(-35) mm, the length between bracteoles and flower 7-10(-14) mm.

Flowers orange yellow (indica Saraca fl1 428841 ), to deep orange or purple, or red, articulated near the base, glabrous. Hypanthium 9-12(-16) mm long, 0.5-1.5 mm wide at the throat. Calyx lobes ovate, elliptic, or obovate, 5-12 by 2-8 mm. Stamens (5 or)6-8(-10); filaments 10-35 mm, often puberulous at the basal parts; anthers ellipsoid or oblong, c. 1 mm long; staminodes 0. Pistil stipitate, free part of stipe 1.5-4.5 mm, hairy; ovary 4-8 mm long, puberulous, 6-8-ovuled; style 15-35 mm, glabrous; stigma minute, round.

Pods dark red (indica Saraca pods 428837), oblong, or narrowly oblong-lanceolate, 6-25 by 2-6 cm, 0.5-1.2 cm thick, leathery or woody, 4-6(-8)-seeded, with straight or curved, up to c. 1 cm long beaked apex, and cuneate or obliquely rounded base, valves coiling.

Seeds ovoid-oblong, sometimes reniform, 4-5 by 2-2.5 cm, and 0.6-1.2 cm thick.

Thailand, Laos, S Vietnam; Malesia : Sumatra, Malay Peninsula, Java.

Habitat & Ecology
In forests, often on river banks or along streams, up to c. 900 m altitude Fl. and fr. all the year round.

Commonly cultivated as an ornamental (Burkill, 1935: 1964).

Flowering collections of Saraca indica can be recognized by the rather higher number of stamens (usually 6-8) and the bracteoles which are erecto-patent to spreading, not clasping the pedicel, and caducous or persistent during anthesis.