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Paneer Tree, beach gardenia, zebra wood;
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Guettarda speciosa, colloquially called beach gardenia, or zebra wood, is a species of shrub in the family Rubiaceae found in coastal habitats in tropical areas around the Pacific Ocean, including the coastline of central and northern Queensland and Northern Territory in Australia, and Pacific Islands, including Micronesia, French Polynesia and Fiji, Malaysia and Indonesia and the east coast of Africa. 
It reaches 6 m in height, has fragrant white flowers, and large green prominently-veined leaves. It grows in sand above the high tide mark.
It is a perennial shrub or small tree 2–6 m (7–20 ft) tall by 1–3 m (3–10 ft) wide with smooth creamy grey bark. The large oval-shaped leaves are 15–23 cm (6–9 in) long by 10–18 cm (4–7 in) wide. Dark green and smooth above with prominent paler veins, they are finely hairy underneath. Flowering is from October to May, the fragrant white flowers are 2.5–3 cm (1–1½ in) long with 4–9 lobes. These are followed by sweet-smelling globular hard fruit, measuring 2.5–2.8 × 2.2–2.5 cm (1 × 1 in), which mature September to March.
(From Wikipedia on 28.7.13)
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Please identify this sapling 1 : Attachments (3). 16 posts by 11 authors.

Bought at a local nursery in Bombay. The proprietor of the nursery assured me that it was the sapling of a native tree.


when I see the flower, the bud and the leaves it reminds me of a shrub called Mogara (Marathi name). I don’t know if Mogara is a Tree or a shrub?
(Moreover this is all I remember from my old days in India. Perhaps I am remembering just a few characteristics. )


Mogra is Jasminum sambac, a small shrub.
Your identification seems to be correct, calyx which is not visible in the photograph often helps in correct identification in this genus.


I think Jasminum sambac has more darker and glabrous leaves!!


Just a curiosity …, could you tell me the phyllotaxy of the sampling? Are there any interpetiolar stipules?


Thanks for your responses. …, will check and let you know about your queries.
Another hint from the nursery owner – it is a small tree found in South India where it is called the ‘Paneer Tree’ because its fruit is soft like paneer.
Also, did not observe the flowers having any particular aroma.

The leaves of the plant say it is not mogra. May be I am wrong.


This seems more to be Rubiaceae member rather than Jasminum.


This could be a dwarf form of Guettarda speciosa, called as ‘Panneer maram’ in Tamil.


Thanks … The nursery owner has promised to check and let me know. Will keep  you informed


Could you tell us more about this species. Have you seen this plant in the wild? The link that you have sent us all, where is that picture from?


The leaves actually dont resamble to that of Jasmine!!


It is reported to be widely distributed in the tropical coasts of E. Africa to Malesia, Micronesia & S.Pacific. Reports say that this is common in the coastal regions of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. However, I have seen this only in gardens (in the Presidency College garden and in a house garden in Coimbatore). It is said to be planted in Lal Bagh botanic garden, Bangalore too. I haven’t heard of its occurrence in wild in India.
I vaguely remember that the flowers are strongly fragrant.
You can find more details and pictures in the net (i sourced the pic from the 2nd link):

Have identified it with … help. It is Guettarda speciosa.


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Guettarda speciosa : Attachments (3). 1 post by 1 author.

Had posted these photographs previously. They look like the photographs of Guettarda speciosa seen facing page 30 in Dr.Almeida’s ‘Flora of Maharashtra’ Vol 3A.
It is endemic to India & Singapore.
My thanks to … for their inputs.

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Details of Indian lavender: Any body knows about Guettada speciosa (Indian lavender- tree) where it is available especially in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Pls send me the correct local name of this tree.


It is called Panner pushpam in tamil and is quite common in many planted gardens od Tamil nadu, some botanical garden perhaps. I remember seeing this in TNAU and a lot of other places


As … said, the local name in Tamil is Panneer maram, Panneer poo



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150713 ASP 109 :  Attachments (1). 4 posts by 2 authors.

Please ID this small tree. Photo was taken in Sri Lanka in April 2012.


It is Guettarda speciosa of Rubiaceae


Guettarda speciosa



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Guettarda speciosa Attachments (1). 4 posts by 4 authors.
Please help me to identify the plant..
location : Lakshadeep

Guettarda speciosa L.



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I had seen this Tree at Thinnakara Island in Lakshadweep.

Common name: Beach Gardenia, Zebra wood..

Bot. name: Guettarda speciosa L.
Family: Rubiaceae
Habitat: Wild (seen in the forest cover near the beach)
White coloured flowers has very soothing and pleasant fragrance.

Nice pictures. They remind me of very similar ones posted by me Posoqueria fragrantissima.


Beautiful and something different. Is it endemic to Lakshadweep?



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Request Tree ID 169 – Minicoy, Lakshadweep – RA : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (7).


I think Guettarda speciosa (family: Rubiaceae).


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290514 TBN 1 for id/ TBN may 03 ? Guettarda speciosa : 4 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (3).

Please validate id of this plant details of which are as follows:
Date           :11.05.14                                                           
Location     :Kanchipuram, Tamilnadu
Altitude      :500 ft

Habitat        :planted
Habit           :shrub
Height         :few ft
Leaves         :large opposite
Flowers       :white
Fruits          :not seen
Local name  : Used in Tiruchendur famous shore temple of Lord Murugan for Prasadam (Ilai Vibuthi)

Could do. Please check these links :
Google Groups
Google Groups


I was searching this plant’s ID as the leaf used in Tiruchendur temple. Thanks a lot for the information


I had seen this tree (Guettarda speciosa) at Lakshadweep. It was seen growing wild..



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231017BHAR3- White color fragrant flower tree : 9 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2)
Panneer in Tamil.
OCT 17.
Near Varadharaja perumal koil. Kanchipuram

The fruit looks close to that of Posoqueria fragrantissima of Rubiaceae.


I can’t find any pictures on searching with Posoqueria fragrantissima. 
But similar flowers under Gardenia taitensis DC, Tahitian Gardenia.
May be my earlier id is wrong, need to correct.
Kindly check the link

Probably Guettarda speciosa is the correct name. Experts kindly comment.


… had posted similar flowers from Andaman I think.  But with a different name. Can’t find the post.


Yes it is Guettarda speciosa L., the fruit is perfectly of gutterda


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Guettarda speciosa : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)- 1 mb each.
Bought this sapling from Auroville Botanical Garden.
Flowering in Summer.

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Swamy/New series/ID/32 – ID of the tree: 5 images.
I am attaching herewith the photos of the tree photographed a decade back in Chennai. For me the ID is Guettarda speciosa. Please confirm or suggest new ID.



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