Semecarpus anacardium L. f., Suppl. pl. 182. 1782 (“1781”) ;
Marking Nut, dhobi nut tree, Indian marking nut tree, Malacca bean, marany nut, marsh nut, oriental cashew nut, varnish tree • Hindi: भिलावां or भिलावन bhilawan, बिल्लार billar • Marathi: भल्लातक bhallataka, भिल्लावा bhillava, बिब्बा bibba • Tamil: சேங்கொட்டை cen-kottai, சோம்பலம் compalam, காலகம் kalakam, காவகா kavaka, கிட்டாக்கனிக்கொட்டை kitta-k-kani-k-kottai • Malayalam: അലക്കുചേര് alakuceer, ചേന്‍ക്കുരു ceenkkuru, തേങ്കൊട്ട theenkotta • Telugu: భల్లాతము bhallatamu, జీడిమామిడిచెట్టు jidimamidichettu • Kannada: ಗೇರ geru, ಗೇರಣ್ಣಿನ ಮರ gerannina mara • Bengali: ভল্লাত bhallata, ভল্লাতক bhallataka • Oriya: bhollataki, bonebhalia • Konkani: अंबेरी amberi, बिब्बा bibba • Urdu: baladur, بهلاون bhilavan, بلار billar • Assamese: ভলা bhala • Gujarati: ભિલામો bhilamo, ભિલામું bhilamu • Sanskrit: अह्वला ahvala, अर्शस्तः arshastah, अरुध्कः arudhkh, भल्लातकः bhallatakah, वह्निः vahnih, विषास्या vishasya • Nepali: भलायो bhalaayo;


Flora of Madhya Pradesh: Semecarpus anacardium L.f. from Bhedaghat MP:
Semecarpus anacardium L.f.
From Bhedaghat Jabalpur MP, tree growing on roadside area
Only fruits were seen

Good set of pictures.

Name: Semecarpus anacardium L.
Family: Anacardiaceae
Location: Sathyamangalam Forest Division
Date: 12 Nov 2008
Tamil name: Seraangottai, Saenkottai, Ghaer
Edibility: I relished this fresh ripe sweet (false) fruit; local people consume the fully ripen fruits
The acidic nature of this fruit is used for healing wounds, (mostly inflammatory) locally at Sathyamangalam forest division.

Thanks …, This was a real learning experience for me on its edibility. Google searching till now couldn’t provide me the information on what it would be like to actually eat and taste it. But now the same query for some one else can be answered throgh google via efloraindia/ indiantreepix.

Warm welcome …, The Gaer name is of Kannada origin. The collection location is closer to Karnataka, specially along Biligiri Rangan Temple WLS

Could this be any variety of the species?

Lovely catch … of the ripe fruits

Semecarpus anacardium is one of the main drugs in the ayurvedic medicinal system! The sanskrit name for the drug is BHALLATHAKA, and also carries the synonymn ARUSHKARA. It is an anticancerous drug and can also work against good in the case of leukoderma. It also pocess both vachikarana and rasayana properties!

Thanks for the info …
I never knew that there were synonyms of drug names too :))….. I wanted to know where you found that information from, just in case
its from your own expertise, then I would request you to please get me some information on the ayurvedic preparation of Rasana….
For long I had been thinking it to be an Orchid called Vanda tessellata following various literatures but recently one of my friends here in the group told us about other plant with the same name.
I would be grateful for your help.


id required : spice 5 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)

I am sending you some spices used for making
could you please let me know the identification for them and the scientific names.
there will be around 15 spices.
PS: i just know that these should be one of the following (all marathi names)
Dongari, Safed, Shaha, Lasani, Shatavari, Panjabi, Kambarkas, DoodhKaLi, PimpaLi, Gathi, Bedana, Isabgol, Talimkhana, Motha Gokharu, Soonth

This fruit may be Semecarpus anacardium fruit, but I am not very sure

This appears to be Dhobis nut/bibba. Seed of Semicarpus anacardium please confirm.

just to tell you more on the usage of these spices (?).
we use them to make ‘Laddoo’ of medicinal value for women who have given birth to baby. we also add other dry fruits to it.
so i am not sure if they can be called spices. sorry if i might have misled you folks.
thanks to all for helping me in identifying these


Semecarpus anacardium ? : 12 posts by 8 authors. Attachments (3)

Saw these flowers in Rani Bagh (V.J.B.Udyan), Mumbai on 19th July 2010.
Is it Semecarpus anacardium (Marking Nut or बिब्बा)

… most probably not, … the leaves of marking nut tree are leathery and are rounded at tip,
Some views at my photostream …
Let us please wait for comments.

Is it Holigarna ferruginea? Chera ? Belongs to Anacardiaceae.

This not at all Semecarpus anacardium I am quite sure about it as said by …
I also think this is Holigarna ferruginea as …
Kindly check a tentative description of the plant from the link below.

Thank you very much … for sharing the fotos. I had never seen बिब्बा bibba भल्लातक bhallataka, भिल्लावा bhillava, and the other two names for बिब्बा I did not know before.
भल्लातक  reminded me of  भल्लातक फळभारे लवले from गीतरामायण.
बिब्बा looks like काजू? seed on top of a fruit? That is what I saw in your foto. Do you have a bigger foto of the fruit? What is actually बिब्बा? Is it a seed?

… do not have photo showing fruits from close-up distance.
Attaching a cropped version of a photo, showing fruits.
Not sure whether the fruits are edible … at least not popular as edible … comments would help.
But certainly a high-value medicinal plant. Attachments (1)

and yes, the seemingly seed-like structure is the nut … just as in case cashew-nut … which is botanically the actual fruit, the other swollen part — orange coloured in case of S. anacardium is the false-fruit … it is the swollen stalk of the fruit … known as the hypocarp.
Comments on edibility will help.

I remember studying this in Forensic medicine years back as a popular poison. As with all poisons medicinal usage is common.
Here is a study of its effects on an animal model:

In humans it is an irritant and vesicant to the skin and laundry markings from the nut (it is also called the dhobi nut) have also been known to cause neck irritation and rashes, even after the clothing was repeatedly washed.

This is none else but the plant labelled by you.
Mentioning the size of the leaves would have ruled out Holigarna.
Forked nerves tally well with … pics. The panicles in
Holigarna are tomentose and petals are villous which is not seen in
your picture.
A close up of petals can also distinguish, Semecarpus
has imbricate petals
and Holigarna has valvate petals. May be yet
another visit will settle this issue. This may be S. anacrdium var.
cuneifolia (Roxb.) DC. which has cuneate leaves instead of rounded.
It is unusual to find this plant at Ranibaug.

For comparison.

Another name for it is Agnimukha (अग्निमुख)
I wonder if it has any relevance to its edibility?

Thanx very much for ur detailed reply differentiating bet. Holigarna and Semecarpus.
As u say one more visit and few more pics are necessary to resolve the issue. I vil keep the points raised by u in mind and take the pics. i cud not take the close up of flowers due to continuous rains. But,  after zooming the original pic of flowers i realised that though the petals are not villose, they r not imbricate too.
This tree is identified by the botanist in Rani bagh. I will now request Dr. Almeida to identify it.
Rani Bagh has many unusual plants. (including the one that u wanted to know i.e. Atlantia monophylla )

…, thanx very much for the series of photographs  and interesting info.
…, thanx for the links. they r very useful.
…, thank u very much for the discussion on the issue. it prompted me to read more on the subject.

Semecarpus anacardium Pune SMP MAY2016/3 : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4)
Semecarpus anacardium

Very nice close ups.


Anacardiaceae sp. from central India : 11 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)

Posting a photograph of a tree from from Gadchiroli.
The tree looks an anacardiaceae member on primary observation but id is not clear.
So, requesting all in finding appropriate id.

I think Semecarpus anacardium….

Thank you Sir for the comment.

But these Flowers and leaves differs from the regular Semecrpus anacardium.
The Flowers are quite bold and prominent compared to the regular one.
Leaves are also dark green and leathery with large lamina. Further for discussion…

Thanks, …, May I request you to pl. post more detailed images.

Sir whatever best image I was having, I have posted. Rest I can provide is just taxonomic information only..

I also feel close to images at Semecarpus anacardium L. f.

Definitely Semecarpus anacardium (Bhilwa)


on the outskirts of Pune– 1st Jan.2009; Alibag, Maharashtra– 20 May 2009; June’09?; on 30/8/09 in Narshapur forest near Hyderabad, AP; near the banks of River Narmada [Dhunadhar falls]  Bhedaghat, Madhya Pradesh on 7th Novenber 2010; Sathyamangalam Forest Division;


SK 2937 3 August 2021: 2 very high res. images.
Location: Far West, Nepal
Altitude: 1000m.
Date: June 2021
Habit : Wild
Only one image broke into 2 due to size!

Semecarpus anacardium

Semecarpus anacardium L. fil.


Semecarpus anacardium L.fil.: (Mixed thread): 5 very high res. images.

Location: Jalthal, Jhapa, East Nepal
Date: 01 January 2023
Elevation: 97 m.
Habitat: Wild

Yes, as per images at

Mixed photos are there …, possibly remove.

All images are from one tree.

Not possible from one plant, because Semecarpus simple leaf, Here mixed with compound leaves plants.

Once recheck.

I shall check. Which images look different? Could you please advise ?

From 1991-1994 all other species belongs.

You are right … Wrongly uploaded. These images belong to Lagerstroemia parviflora Roxb



Semecarpus anacardium L.f. :: Waghbil, Thane, Maharashtra :: Jul 26, 2009 · JUN 23 DV13: 6 images.

Semecarpus anacardium L.f.
Waghbil, Thane, Maharashtra :: Jul 26, 2009 · 8:41 AM IST :: about 3 m (10 ft)
Many thanks to Radha Veach for validating the ID at iNaturalist.


Semecarpus anacardium L.f. :: Waghbil, Thane, Maharashtra :: Jul 5, 2009 · JUN 23 DV21: 3 images.
Semecarpus anacardium L.f.
Waghbil, Thane, Maharashtra :: Jul 5, 2009 · 4:25 PM IST :: about 3 m (10 ft) asl


Semecarpus anacardium L.f. :: Waghbil, Thane, Maharashtra :: Nov 15, 2008 · JUN23 DV72: 2 images.

Semecarpus anacardium L.f.
Waghbil, Thane, Maharashtra :: Nov 15, 2008 · 11:28 AM IST :: about 3 m (10 ft) asl
Many thanks to Radha Veach for validating the ID at iNaturalist


Semecarpus anacardium L.f. :: Waghbil, Thane, Maharashtra :: Sep 21, 2008 · JUN23 DV127: 2 images.

Semecarpus anacardium L.f.
Waghbil, Thane, Maharashtra :: Sep 21, 2008 · 1:10 PM IST :: about 3 m (10 ft) asl
Many thanks to Radha Veach for validating the ID at iNaturalist.


identify this terminalia like leaf: 3 images.
bhawali , 14/6/23

Terminalia alata B.Heyne ex Roth

It may be Buchanania sp. , Terminalia sp. having foliar glands.

Buchanania cochinchinensis (Lour.) Almeida ??

It reminds me of Anacardiaceae too. But I wonder if Buchanania can start to flower so late in the year in June. The time of flowering is more in line with Semecarpus.

Thanks, I’ll check it out.


SK 3758 23 June 2023: 4 very high res. images.

Location:  Jajarkot, West Nepal 
Date: 30 May 2023
Elevation 800m.
Habit : Wild
Semecarpus anacardium L. fil.??

Yes, appears close to images at


Semecarpus anacardium L.fil.: 5 high res. images.

Location:  Dhan Khola, Dang,, West Nepal 
Date: 30 May 2023
Elevation 400m.
Habit : Wild

Also check:

You may be right

This looks like Semecarpus all right.
Usually, Semecarpus anacardium tends to flower well after Buchanania lanzan sets fruit. You may compare with your photographs of a Buchanania in fruit from the same location/date (Dhan Khola, 30 May 2023).

The bark is Dark as in Semecarpus .. If we observe in the file attached. When coming to Buchanania .. It’s is not much dark..


Anacardiaceae: Semecarpus anacardium L.f.: 2 images.
synonym: Anacardium officinale Pritz., Anacardium orientale Steud.
location/date (both): Pipariya village, Jabalpur Distr., Madhya Pradesh, October 1994



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