Hydnocarpus pentandra

Hydnocarpus pentandra (Buch. - Ham.) Oken (FLACOURTIACEAE)
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Common names
Kannada: Chaulmoogra yenne mara, Suranti.
Sanskrit: Garudaphala, Tuvrak.
Tamil: Maravattai, Niradimattu.
Telugu: Adi-badam, Niradi.

Description: Trees up to 25 m tall, dioecious; young parts brown pubescent. Leaves ovate – elliptic, elliptic-oblong, oblong or lanceolate, up to 25 x 10 cm, cuneate or obtuse at base, obtusely acuminate at apex, serrate. Male flowers in axillary, 3-6 each in 2-3 racemose fascicles atop a densely ferruginous tomentose peduncle, greenish, ca 6 mm across. Sepals 5, unequal. Petals 5, ovate to suborbicular, concave, ciliate along margins, smaller than sepals; epipetalous scales almost equal to petals. Stamens 5. Ovary rudimentary, densely pilose. Female flowers solitary or binate, ca 1 cm across. Staminodes 5. Ovary ovoid, beaked at apex, densely yellowish pilose; stigmas 5-lobed. Berries globose, 5-10 cm across, reddish brown, scurfy, tomentose. Seeds 15-20, ovoid – oblong, longitudinally striated, up to 2.2 x 1.5 cm.

Flowering &  Fruiting: February - October.

Distribution: India: In moist deciduous and semi-evergreen forests of Western Ghatsup to 850 m, often near water courses. Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.  Endemic. A threatened species.

Uses: Seeds yield a yellow oil used for burning lamps. Wood used for building purposes and packing cases.  The wood is used as a fuel. Fruits are used as fish poison. Seeds yield hydnocarpus or chaulmoogra oil, used in leprosy. Seed oil is also anti-inflammatory, alterative, tonic, used as local application is rheumatism, sprains, braises, sciatica and chest affections. Seed and seed oil are also used in leucoderma, worm infection, polyuria, pruritus, eye diseases and sinus wounds.