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Monday, March 07, 2011

Spotted gliricidia tree (Gliricidia sepium)

I happened to see the above tree - 4-5 of these trees growing just outside the Dockyard Road railway station, where I happened to be yesterday as I had returned from Andheri by train. This is a lovely tree, and I have taken some pictures of the same to share on this blog. Here they are:

The first image shows the pods and the light pink inflorescence, but also note the compound leaves with eight leaflets on each side and an apical one at the top. The pods look very much like the curved beans that we eat. The next picture is a close up of the flowers. The final one shows a little more of the leaves and the light brownish gray trunk and branches.

As per the information I have from the book I linked to in a previous post, this tree is also called "Undir maar" in Marathi. These words mean "rat killer". The bark of the tree is made into a paste and kept where rats are present. They eat the paste and are killed.

I hope to study more trees like this. If you are reading this, please let me know how you found this post by commenting here in the blog. Thank you. One additional fact: the back side of the leaves show brown spots. That is why this is called the spotted gliricidia ... and yes, gliris means mouse, and cidia means Killer in Latin as well.
 

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