Holigarna arnottiana Hook. f. 

Holigarna arnottiana Hook. f. (ANACARDACEAE)
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Common names
Kannada: Holegara, Hulgeri, Kadugeru.
Tulu: Chere.
Malayalam: Cheru.
Tamil: Charei, Karun.

Description: Trees, 10-15 m tall with black caustic juice.  Leaves alternate, obovate-oblanceolate, 10-23 x 3.5-8 cm, acute or rounded at apex, glabrous on both surfaces; amin nerves 16-20 pairs; petioles 1.5 – 2.5 cm long, spurs early caducous.  Flowers in up to 20 cm long, rusty tomentose axillary and terminal panicles, polygamous, greenish.  Calyx 5-lobed.  Petals 5.  Male flowers ca 3 mm across.  Stamens 5; filaments subulate.  Disc 5-lobed, copular.  Bisexual flowers 4 mm in diam.  Ovary inferior, 1-loculed, styles 3.  Fruit a drupe, obliquely ovoid or oblong, up to 1.8 x 0.8 cm, almost entirely enclosed in hypocarp, black when ripe, resinous.  Seed solitary.

Flowering  & Fruiting: January – June.

Distribution : India: In coastal areas and in forests of Western Ghats at lower altitudes Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Endemic.

Uses: Wood light grey, soft, light, used for packing cases, cigar cases, boats, dugouts, bullock carts, matchboxes and splints and pencils. All parts of the tree yield a black, caustic, resinous juice which is used as a varnish and for water proofing boats and furniture.  It is also used for fixing indelible black patterns on linen and cotton cloth. The black caustic juice which raises blisters can be used as varnish.