West India Elm (രുദ്രാക്ഷം)

Scientific Name: Guazuma ulmifolia Lam.

Synonyms: Bubroma guasuma Willd., Guazuma guazuma (L.Cockerell

Unique ID: 150

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class: Polypetalae                        



Family: Malvaceae

Common Names

Malayalam – രുദ്രാക്ഷം

Tamil – Thenmaram




Description: Guazuma ulmifolia grows to 30m in height and 30–40cm in diameter and comes with a rounded crown. Leaves are distributed in an alternate pattern with 2 rows in assembled flatly. The leaves are ovate to lance-shaped, finely saw-toothed margin, usually have a rough texture and are 6–13cm in length and 2.5–6cm in diameter. Three to five main veins arise from the base (rounded or notched, unequal sided) of the leaf which has a darker green upper surface and a fairer green color underneath. They are virtually hairless and thin. The leaf stalks of this species are lean, approximately 6-12mm long, and are covered with small “star-shaped” hairs. The panicles (indeterminate flower clusters) are in a branched pattern around 2.5–5cm in length and are found at the bottom of the leaves. The flowers come in many, are short-stalked, small in size, have a brown-yellow color, five parted, 1cm in length and have a small fragrance to them. The calyx contains are lobed (2-3), have hairs that are brown or light grey, as well as greenish. They have 5 petals with a yellow-like stamen, 15 anthers per pistil, 5 stigmas (combined), ovary lighter green in color with hairs, and also contains a style. The fruit which have capsules that are round to elliptical is 15-25mm in length. They have many seeds that are shaped like eggs and are 3mm in length, grey.

Habitat: Grown as avenue tree. 

Distribution: Native of Tropical America

Uses: Folk medicine, wood, fodder