Holigarna grahamii (Wight) Kurz, J. Asiat. Soc. Bengal, Pt. 2, Nat. Hist. 41(2): 305 1872. (syn: Catutsjeron grahamii (Hook.f.) Kuntze; Holigarna grahamii Hook.f. [Illegitimate]; Holigarna wightii N.P.Balakr.; Semecarpus grahamii Wight (Unresolved));

Common name: Blistering Varnish Tree • Kannada: doddaela holegaara, kankana gaala • Malayalam: Nai-cheru, Vellacheru, Balwuli, Cheru, Bipti • Marathi: biboi

Habit- Large trees, up to 35 m tall.

Trunk & Bark- Bark smooth, grey.
Branches and Branchlets- Branchlets stout, ferruginous pubescent.
Exudates- Latex black.
Leaves- Leaves simple, alternate, spiral, clustered at the twig ends; petiole 2 cm long, ferruginous tomentose, with 2 pairs of stout, densely tomentose spurs; lamina 15-44 x 10-17 cm, oblanceolate, upper half broadly triangular with acuminate apex, lower half narrow with cuneate base, margin entire, coriaceous, ferruginous tomentose beneath, glabrous above; midrib flat and glabrous above; secondary nerves 22-32 pairs; tertiary nerves broadly reticulate.
Inflorescence / Flower- Inflorescence terminal panicle, brown tomentose; flowers polygamous, white.
Fruit and Seed- Drupe ellipsoid and little exerted from torus, 2.2 cm long, rusty tomentose, 1-seeded.
Canopy trees in semi-evergreen to wet evergreen forests at low elevations (between 200 and 700 m).
Endemic to Western Ghats, common from South Sahyadri to Central Sahyadri and rare in North Sahyadri.
Attributions- B. R. Ramesh, N. Ayyappan, Pierre Grard, Juliana Prosperi, S. Aravajy, Jean Pierre Pascal, The Biotik Team, French Institute of Pondicherry. from India Biodiversity Portal)



Request for ID: 290110-AK-1 : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
Picture taken on the 1st of Dec, 09 at Mahabaleshwar.

Kindly help in identifying please.

Holigarna grahamii


Holigarna evergrreen sp. : 5 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6)
The beautiful evergreen species seen by us for  the first time. The leaves have 2 to 4 spurs near the petioles. Seen at various places at Kulgi,  Anashi  and Ulvi WLS Karnataka last week of April, ’10. Most probably it is H. grahami (Wt.) Kurz. would appreciate validation of the same.

I think this is Holigarna grahamii from the family Anacardiaceae (Cashernut family)

Thanks for confirming the ID … The spelling in Dr. Almeida’s flora is with one ‘ i ‘ only for grahami. What to follow?

Kidly give a search in Google and see all the plant bases and Herbarium is using “ii” hence i wrote it eben even in Flora of Madras Presidency

Ok … Thanks for your efforts, shall correct it to H. grahamii.


Tree with very large leaves : 2 posts by 2 authors.

I saw many such trees with very large leaves in Amboli as well as in Amba ghat area. It was not flowering
Is it the same what … has posted as Holigarna grahamii from Anacardiaceae?

Yes … the tree is Holigarna grahamii. I can see the spurs too and the distinct triangular shape of the leaves from the middle.   Dr. Almeida’s flora does mention distribution in Amboli, Konkan, mira hills near Pen, Khandal, Ramghat, Radhanagri.
The tree has resin and leaves can cause itching if touched.

Images by tspkumar





ID-TSP05DEC2015-1: Holigarna sp (Anacardiaceae) for further ID. : 9 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (5)

Kindly identify this Holigarna specimen. Is this Holigarna arnottiana or Holigarna ferruginea…??? 

Habit: Tree 

Habitat: Semi-evergreen forest 

Sighting: Balehonnur, Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1100 msl 

Date: 26-11-2015

Leaves have to be more than 30 cm long, rusty pubescent beneath and the fruit has to be less than 1 cm long for it to be H ferruginea. I can barely see underside of leaves to call it ferruginea. You need to confirm other features.

Thanks … for the feedback. How about H.arnottiana…??

I strongly believe that the uploaded images are that of a specimen belonging to the genus Holigarna. The Digita Flora of Karnataka describes five species that are known to occur in Karnataka...H.arnottiana, H.ferruginea, H.grahamii, H.nigra and H.beddomei….. If H.arnottiana and H.arnottiana are ruled out the options narrow down to the remaining three H.grahamii, H. nigra and H.beddomei….! No images of  are avaliable in that site for H.beddomei . A detailed floral desciption is provided for H.grahamii . But I am not able to decipher this….!  Moreover, H.grahamii is known to occur in the region where the instant specimen was found…!  Would  the experts kindly examine…?  I understand that it is difficult to identify a specimen  by images alone,but I am left with no options except the images that I have uploaded…!
Ref:  Description for H.grahamii for ready reference.

Keeping my fingers crossed…!!!

It is needless to emphasize that here comes the need for collection and preparation of herbarium specimens!

On perusal of references & posts at Holigarna grahamii , I agree with you. But I am not sure

Id can be confirmed only from specimens of leaf and fruit. These do not show in the pictures. Till then it can be only guessed.

Thanks … I will try to get some pics of leaves and fruits as well when I  visit  next. Thanks for your feed back.

It look like Holigarna grahamii


Please let me know if the identification is incorrect.


Holigarna arnottiana FOR VALIDATION :: Vythiri, Wayanad :: 15 NOV 19 : 6 posts by 4 authors. 5 images.

Vythiri  Wayanad

Date: November 15, 2019 … Altitude: about 700 m (2,300 ft) asl

¿ Holigarna arnottiana ?  

Dear friends,
Please validate whether Holigarna arnottiana. Hopefully the inflorescence, leaves and trunk gives some hint to recognize the species.

Holigarna grahamii

no wonder i have never seen it.
i found its distribution in india in this map

Yes, …!!



ID. Please : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3)
Your help in Identification of this Tree? with unusual leaves.
location:Aambyvalley Rd.,Off Lonavala,Pune
date:Feb 19
Other: I saw some red tiny flowers but not sure some red is visible

Holigarna species, probably H. grahamii

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