Holigarna nigra Bourd.

Holigarna nigra Bourd. (ANACARDIACEAE)
Common names
Kannada:  Chere.
Tamil: Cherei.

Description: Trees, 10-15 m tall with black juice;  branches glabrous.  Leaves alternate, spathulate, up to 12x 6cm, base narrowed into 1-2 cm long petiole, obtuse or retuse at apex,  glabrous, spars early deciduous.  Flowers in up to 8 cm long, dark purple pubescencent panicles, white. Bisexual flowers bracteate, pedicillate. Calyx copular, 5-lobed.  Petals 5, ovate, pubescent inside.  Stamens 5.  Disc 5 lobed. Ovary inferior, 1-loculed, tomentose; styles 3, recurved. Fruit a drupe, up to 3 x 1.7 cm, glabrous,  black when ripe, resinous. Seed solitary.       

Flowering & Fruiting: February - July. 

Distribution: In evergreen forests of Western Ghats between 650 - 1300 m. Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Endemic. The black and caustic juice of the plant is used as varnish