|Scientific Name||Vitex altissima L.f.|
|Author||L. f., 1782 ("|
|References||Suppl. Pl. 294. 1782 ("1781")|
Flowering class: Dicot
Trees, to 30 m high, bark 10-13 mm thick, greyish-yellow, scaly; blaze yellow; branchlets lenticellate, minutely tomentose. Leaves compound, trifoliate, opposite, estipulate; rachis 35-60 mm long, slender, pubescent, winged in sapling leaves, wings auriculate at base; leaflets 3-5, sessile; lamina 6-18 x 2-5 cm, lanceolate, elliptic-lanceolate, or oblanceolate, base cuneate or acute, apex acuminate, margin entire, glabrous above and pubescent or glabrescent along the nerves below, chartaceous; lateral nerves 10-16 pairs, pinnate, puberulent beneath, slender, prominent; intercostae reticulate, prominent. Flowers bisexual, white, tinged with blue, in terminal panicles, 5-8 m long; bracts lanceolate, 3 mm long, cauducous; calyx densely tomentose, shortly 5 lobed, ovate; corolla 5 mm long, 2 lipped, upper lip of 2 and lower lip of 3 lobes, obtuse, throat villous; stamens 4, didynamous, exserted; filaments hairy at base; ovary globose, 1 mm, superior, densely hairy, 2-4-celled, 4 ovuled; style filiform; stigmas bifid. Fruit a drupe, 5 x 5 mm, smooth, globose, glabrous, blue, supported by enlarged calyx; seeds 4, obovate.
Bark grey, scaly, fibrous. Leaves trifoliate, petiole with wing like extensions, aromatic.
Habit: A large deciduous tree, upto 15m.
Flowering and fruiting: March-July
Vitex species flowers are complete, bisexual, i.e., with functional male (androecium) and female (gynoecium), including stamens, carpels and ovary. Pollination is entomophilous i.e., by insects. Flowering/Fruiting: March-September.
Direct sowing of seeds.
Seeds dispersed by barochory i.e., gravitational dispersal, zoochory i.e., dispersal by birds or animals.
In panicles from terminal and upper leaf axils; blue to purple. Flowering from June-September.
A globose drupe, fleshy, purple when ripe. Fruiting from October-January.
Bark yellowish-grey. Rachis and petioles winged in young plants.
Obovate-lanceolate to oblanceolate
A large tree about 60-80 ft tall. Bark grayish brown or dark brown about 2-3 cm thick, creamish inside turning yellowish brown when mature, branchlets subterete or obtusely quadrangular, slightly pubescent, nodes annulate. Leaves palmately compound with 3 foliolate, rarely more, leaflets lanceolate-elliptic or oblanceolate, middle leaflets 6-21 × 2-6 cm across, lateral leaflets 5-14 x 2-5 cm across, leaflets sessile or subsessile, base acute, margin entire, ciliate, apex acuminate, chartaceous, thick, dark green glabrous above, paler pubescent beneath, lateral veins 10-20 on either side of the midrib, ascending obscure, impressed above, prominent, densely pubescent on midrib beneath, reticulate veinlets, petiole flattened, entirely winged in old leaves, about 5-10 cm long. Inflorescence supra-axillary and terminal panicles with spiciform interrupted branches or small grey pubescent cymes, about 10-25 cm long, peduncles, slender, obtusely quadrangular, pubescent with brownish hairs, about 3-8 cm long, bracts lanceolate, caducous, about 4 x 2 mm across. Flowers bisexual, numerous, faintly fragrant, sessile or subsessile, Calyx cupular 5 toothed, teeth acute, purplish stripes inside, pubescent outside, about 3 × 3 mm across, Corolla infundibular, 5 lobed, 2-lipped, blue or purple, upper lip 2-lobed, light blue, lobes triangular, apex acute, lower lip 3 lobed, midlobes suborbicular, light blue, apex obtuse, about 4 x 4 mm across, lower lobe, dark purple with white tinge near the base, apex emarginate about 6 x 4 mm across, Corolla tube narrow, about 2 x 1.2 mm across, densely villous at throat, pubescent outside. Stamens 4, didynamous, exserted, filaments slender, filiform, about 2.5-4 mm long, exserted, anthers obovoid or subglobose, dark brown with white tinge, 2-celled, Ovary bicarpellary, 4 lobed, obovoid, truncate at apex villous, 1 × 1 mm, hairy, style slender, about 2 mm long, stigma bilobed, subulate. Fruit drupaceous, globose, about 1 cm in diameter, green, glabrous, purplish black when ripe, fruiting calyx cupular, pubescent, seeds nonendospermous.
Susceptible to insect pests and moulds.
Good timer species. Fruits are an important food source for the Great Pied Hornbill (Buceros bicornis) which play an important role in its seed dispersal.
Common in forest, less on slopes, down to foothills. Hills above 600m. Peninsular India.
Moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests, also in sacred groves
Moist deciduous forests to scrubs, altitude up to 4000 ft.
Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharastra, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, Meghalaya.
Found along the river banks and deciduous forests above 600m. Common. Peninsular India.
Local Distribution: Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Meghalaya, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal.
Global Distribution: Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Vietnam.
India, Indo-China, Malesia and Sri Lanka
State - Kerala, District/s: All Districts
Cattle feed on leaves. Firewood species.
Wood very hard and used for furniture, construction and agricultural implements.
Wood close grained, hard, yellowish brown used for making furniture, boats, house construction etc.
Medicinal : Leaf,Root
Pest management: Leaf
Wind break, Live fence, Nectar source, Green manure, Timber, Implements
Not evaluated (IUCN).
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