Cemetery Tree (അരണമരം)

Scientific Name:Polyalthia longifolia (Sonn.) Thwaites

Synonyms:Guatteria longifolia (Sonn.) Wall. ,
 Unona longifolia (Sonn.) Dunal

Systematic Position
Class: Dicotylodonae
Sub Class:   Polypetalae
Family: Annonaceae

Common Names
False Ashoka
Hindi: Asok

Description: An evergreen tree with a straight trunk, conical crown and slender drooping branches, about 10-25 m tall. Bark dark grayish brown, branches sparsely puberulous when young, glabrous when mature. Leaves simple, alternate, narrow lanceolate or linear lanceolate, 15-25 x 2-4 cm across, base slightly acute or cuneate, margin wavy or undulate, apex long acuminate, membranous, coriaceous, faintly aromatic, shining dark green, glabrous above, paler glaucous beneath, lateral veins 25-30 on either side of the midrib, impressed above, prominent on the midrib beneath, very slightly on the veins beneath, reticulate veinlets fine and close, petiole pubescent, about 0.8-1.5 long. Flowers bisexual, axillary, solitary or fascicled on very short umbels from axils of fallen leaves, yellowish green, about 2.5-3 cm long, pedicels slender, tomentose, about 1-1.5 cm long, bracts submedian. Sepals 3, broadly ovate or triangular, base connate, apex acute, pubescent, about 1-2 x 1-1.5 mm across. Petals 6, in 2 series, valvate, outer petals, slightly narrower than the inner petals, lanceolate, base broad, apex acuminate, yellowish green, fleshy, glabrous inside, about 6-7 x 2 mm across, inner petals base broader than outer petals, about 10-15 x 2.5 mm across. Stamens numerous, about 1 mm long, anthers broad, dorsal, connectives convex flat on top. Carpels many, base slightly broad, linear, puberulous, stigma sessile. Ripe carpels, subglobose or ellipsoid monocarps, obtuse at base and apex, green when young, dark purplish black when ripe, about 2 x 1 cm across, stalk stout, about 1-1.5 cm long, Seeds 1, pale brown to light brown, longitudinally grooved, ovoid.

Habitat:  Mixed forests, altitude of up to 400 m

Distribution: Cultivated in many tropical countries.

Uses:  Cultivated in gardens and roadsides as avenue tree. Wood used for packing cases, boxes etc.