Elaeocarpus serratus L., Sp. Pl. 515 1753. (syn: Elaeocarpus adenophyllus Wall.; Elaeocarpus angustifolius Wight; Elaeocarpus cuneatus Wight; Elaeocarpus malabaricus Oken; Elaeocarpus oblongus Gaertn. ex Sm.; Elaeocarpus perim-kara DC. ; Elaeocarpus perincara F. Hamilton ; Elaeocarpus serratus Heyne ;  Elaeocarpus sylvestris Blanco; Misipus serratus (L.) Rafin.; Monocera serrata (L.) Turcz.) as per Catalogue of Life;

Tamil: Karai, Karamaram, Olan karai, Ulang karei, Uttraccham Malayalam: Avi, Avil, Karamavu, Nalla kara, Perinkara, Perunkara, Rudraksham, Valiya karai Kannada: Athakunge, Beegada mara, Beejada mara.

Habit- Trees up to 18 m tall.
Trunk & Bark- Bark brownish, smooth; blaze orange red.
Branches and Branchlets- Branchlets terete, glabrous, with scars of fallen leaves.
Leaves simple, alternate, spiral, clustered at twig ends; stipules small, lanceolate, caducous; petiole 1.2-4 cm long, swollen at both ends, planoconvex, glabrous, with subulate appendage at the junction of lamina; lamina 5.5-12.5 x 2.5-5 cm, elliptic, apex acuminate with blunt tip, base acute, margin serrate, chartaceous, glabrous, red when senescent; midrib slightly raised above; secondary nerves 5-9 pairs, branched with glabrous domatia at axils beneath; tertiary nerves reticulo-percurrent; higher order reticulation slender, minute.
Inflorescence / Flower- Inflorescence racemes; flower petals white, laciniate, anthers ciliate.
Fruit and Seed- Drupe, oblong or ovoid to 2.5 cm long; seeds 3-4.
Subcanopy tree in evergreen to semi-evergreen forests up to 1600 m.
Indomalaysia; in the Western Ghats- South and Central Sahyadris.

The fruits are high in starch and sugar and have low amounts of protein and iron.[citation needed] It may help treat diarrhoea due to its constipating effect.[3][unreliable medical source?].
In Sri Lanka pickled Ceylon Olives are eaten as popular street food.
(From Wikipedia on 20.7.13)


Elaeocarpus serratus is known as Jalpai in Bangla. The drupes of the tree are edible. These are pickled or eaten in curries. In our childhood we knew this fruit to be olive ( even now I find this misconception prevails in Bengal). In fact the tree is a cousin of Elaeocarpus shaericus ( RUDRAKSHA ). Attaching three images og this plant.


Bangalore – RA – Elaeocarpus variabilis – South Indian Marble Tree (Please Confirm):

Flowering Season was October.

Nice set of pics. Thanks a lot for sharing.
Any idea, why it is called Marble Tree?

Perhaps by analogy with Australian “Blue marble Tree” , the cobalt shiny marble – sized fruits of E.angustifolius look like blue marbles.

I think almost sure it is Elaeocarpus serratus

SYMBIOSIS : 398 : Attachments (1). 1 post by 1 author.
Attaching an image of male Great Egg-fly on the flowers of Elaeocarpus serratus (JALPAI).

SYMBIOSIS : 409 : Attachments (1). 1 post by 1 author.
Attaching an image of a Grey Pansy butterfly on the flowers of Elaeocarpus serratus (JALPAI)

for id of tree : Attachments (7). 3 posts by 2 authors.
pls id the tree.
alternate phyllotaxy,
oblong fruit
habit- tree
collected from – south maharashtra (not native of south maharashtra region, purchased from some other place before 20 years)

This looks like Gurmutga [Elaeocarpus serratus]. The tasty fruit ripen in January.

thanx to all

Elaeocarpus serratus L.. SN April 36 : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1). 
Elaeocarpus serratus L, (= Elaeocarpus ganitrus Roxb. ex G.Don), Rudraksha cultivated tree, found in GKVK Bangalore and Srisailam temple Andhrapradesh. I am thanking … of GKVK to permit me take the photograph.

Yes, it is laden with fruits nowadays in Pantnagar (Uttarakhand). We have many trees planted here, it is fast growing and come into bearing after 3-4 years.

ANMAR39/61 Elaeocarpus serratus : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (12)
Family: Elaeocarpaceae
Date: 21st March 2015
Place: Aralam WLS, Kerala

Habit: Tree

Perfect pictures…!!

Images by tspkumar


TSPDEC2015-09-181:Images of Elaeocarpus serratus (Elaeocarpaceae) : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (7)

It is my pleasure to share few images of Elaeocarpus serratus  (Elaeocarpaceae 

Habit: Tree 

Habitat: Cultivated 

Sighting: Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1000 msl 

Date: 01-07-2014, 16-07-2014, 22-08-2014, 15-07-2014 and 26-07-2015

Excellent display …!!

Id this tree and fruit please : 9 posts by 6 authors. Attachments (1)
The fruits were excellent and the CRPF camp in which this tree stood were busy making pickle of this fruit.

I think this is the fruit in malayalam known as Karacka

It looks like Ambada [Spondias acuminata]. Sending you a photograph of one of my saplings.

Hi, for me it looks like a species of Elaeocarpus. Spondias has pinnate leaves, isn’t it?

Did consider Elaeocarpus, but are the fruit used for making pickle?

…, my colleague … says fruits of Elaeocarpus oblongus (= E. tectorius; E. glandulosus) are used for making pickle in Madurai region in TN.

It is Elaeocarpus (orange coloured ripen leaves (one in the photo) are very good identifying feature in field for this genus) may be “serratus’ or “oblongus“. leaf length and shapes are the main feature for identifying these species. Karaka in kerala is mostly E. serratus. But we should not go with common name.

Thanks. Will do some search and find out. By the way what is the common English name of the tree?

I too agree with … This may be Elaeocarpus oblongus .. but for first time ‘m hearing that the fruits of this are pickled….


AKNOV08 Please identify this Elaeocarpus sp. : 15 posts by 3 authors.
Location: Botanical Garden of FRI, Dehradun, Sept 2014

mimusops sp but which exactly i dont know

that is certainly not Mimusops !

why not? where does it belong?

they are in two distinct families..Elaeocarpaceae and Sapotaceae. You must have confused the flowers as they are both white but other than that, they are very different.
For Elaeocarpaceae
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla, or sepaline (corolla often missing); 4–5, or 8–10; 1 whorled, or 2 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4, or 5; 1 whorled; polysepalous, or gamosepalous; regular; usually valvate. Epicalyx absent. Corolla when present, 4, or 5; 1 whorled; polypetalous (usually), or gamopetalous (rarely); valvate (or valvate-induplicate, never contorted); regular. Petals often fringed.
For Sapotaceae
Perianth with distinct calyx and corolla; 6–16(–20); 2 whorled, or 3 whorled; isomerous. Calyx 4, or 5, or 6, or 8; 1 whorled (then 5), or 2 whorled (then 2+2, 3+3 or 4+4); polysepalous; when one whorled, imbricate. Corolla 3–6, or 8, or 10; 1 whorled, or 2 whorled (and sometimes ostensibly 2-whorled, through the lobes of the single whorl bearing dorsal appendages like themselves); appendiculate (with dorsal appendages on the lobes), or not appendiculate; gamopetalous; imbricate.

thanks. it was not the flower but the leaf that reminded me of mimusops… flower “petals and the inflorescence looked very different” too.. and thanks for the key of Elaeocarpaceae.. how about one for the mimusops???

Here is a photo of Mimusops elengi flower for reference – https://www.flickr.com/photos/arun_delonix/14381267335

Very welcome …! , the key for Sapotaceae is also there.

To me it seems to be Elaeocarpus shaericus (RUDRAKSHA). If the image is from a tree behind the main FRI building, the tree was planted by Mrs Indira Gandhi.

Can be Elaeocarpus serratus.

It can’t be Elaeocarpus serratus. This species does not grow in Dehradun.

efi page on Elaeocarpus sphaericus   

To me it appears to be Elaeocarpus serratus L. as per comparative images in efi.


White flowers for ID from Chimmony | 27Oct2011AR01:
Date/Time- 08 Oct 2011 1:45PM
Location- Place, Altitude, GPS- Chimmony Forest, Thrissur, Kerala
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type-Forest path by the river side
Plant Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-Tree
Height/Length-approx – ~ 18 feet, Flowers found at about 15 feet.
Leaves Type/ Shape/ Size- Shape – Elliptic, 13cms
Inflorescence Type/ Size-
Flowers Size/ Colour/ Calyx/ Bracts-White small flowers, < 0.5cms
Fruits Type/ Shape/ Size Seeds- No

This could be Elaeocarpus serratus L. of Elaeocarpacae family.

Yes Elaeocarpus species. I have seen flower similar to this but of different colour also in Karnataka.

Please refer the following link.

Leaf descriptions -shape- shape, size, venation & margin agree with the Biotik link, Bark patterns, color and texture too.
My flower pictures are`nt good enough to depict the finer aspects.
Earlier I could eliminate the Elaeocarpus flora kinds mentioned in flowers of India.

Fwd: SYMBIOSIS : 958 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Small Common Flat visiting flowers of Elaeocarpus serratus (JALPAI).

SK1122 18 MAY 2018 : 6 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (7) – around 700 kb each.
Location: Soureni, India
Date: 7 May 2018
Altitude: 2600 ft.
Habit : Wild
Elaeocarpus serratus L  ??

I also think closer to images at Elaeocarpus serratus L. as per comparative images at Elaeocarpus 

Fwd: MS/October/2/2018 -ID of Rudraksha tree (mixed thread): 5 posts by 1 author. Attachments (5)
I am posting herewith a few photographs of Rudraksha tre photographed in Mysore. Please Id the tree species. The photographs were sent by one of the readers of my article in Star of Mysore.

I am sending 2 more photographs taken recently. These might help ID the species.
Attachments (2)

I think this should be Elaeocarpus serratus L. as per comparative images at Elaeocarpus

SYMBIOSIS : 1340 : 4 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Peacock Pansy visiting flowers of Elaeocarpus serratus (JALPAI).

running after butterflies keeps one hale and hearty. good

Clear image of flowers also would have been an advantage.

SYMBIOSIS : 1339 : 4 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (1)
Attaching a collage of Red spot Jezebel visiting flowers of Elaeocarpus serratus (JALPAI).

Elaeocarpus sphaericus : Attachments (6). 12 posts by 7 authors.
Elaeocarpus sphaericus
Observed this tree outside a temple at village Chas (Rajgurunagar) on 24th Aug 2013.
Please validate. 

Nice find and beautiful photographs..

According to the Plant List Elaeocarpus sphaericus (Gaertn.) K.Schum. is a synonym of Elaeocarpus serratus L.
These pics also match with those for E. serratus on the Biotik site. (It is not the same as Rudraksh)

I agree what you state but BSI Flora clearly states that these are two distinct species and the key also says that the leaves of E.serratus are serrate and Drupes 1-2 seeded whereas they are obsurely crenate or serrate Drupes are 5-seeded. (The leaf margin of the above plant is almost smooth.)
and the Marathi name is “Rudraksha” and that for E.serratus is “Perinkara

this is quite confusing. Several of the species are known as rudraksha in various sources.
Referring to your 4th picture, I can see some leaves are slightly serrate. They are also quite obovate, unlike the lanceolate, acute and narrower leaves of the tree whose seeds are mostly used for religious malas.
I will try and post some of my pics later if I get a better internet connection!

Thanks a lot. Such interactions  are mandatory. Let us see what conclusion is reached.

Elaeocarpus serratus is native to Western Ghats evergreen forests. 
The leaf margins are serrated and the fruits are edible. It is called Kara in Malayalam.
Its fruits (karakka) are used to make pickles.
Several species of Elaeocarpus are generally called rudraksh.
But I think the sacred rudraksh which is used to make religious malas is from the seeds of Elaeocarpus ganitrus which I believe is a Himalayan species.
No idea about E.sphaericus.
Hoping to hear more from the experts.

Interesting discussion. I will upload my Elaeocarpus pictures in new threads.

efi pages on Elaeocarpus sphaericus & Elaeocarpus serratus 

Yes, Elaeocarpus serratus L.

129 ID wild plant Elaeocarpus serratus: 17 images.
Please confirm the wild plant,
Location: near Reserve Forest, Chathamattom, Ernakulam District, (Kochi) Kerala PIN:686671
Altitude: 1400fsl
Flower date: 18.08.2021, 12.15pm
Habitat: wild moisture
Plant habit: tree overgrown, erect, woody, long lasting
Height: 07 meters
Leaves: alternate, ovate, apex, toothed margins, size:7×4cm or less
Flower: racemose, 4 petals, diameter:11mm, white, fragrance
Fruit: ovate green into lite yellow, size:3.5×1.5cm, edible sweet delicious, pickled tamarind tasted tender fruit
Seed: brown single, ovate, fully toothed, size:2×1.5cm
Camera: mobile Samsung Galaxy A21s

Awesome photos! Great going by … !
For me the ID is correct on comparison with images on the NET.  Also check this link for beautiful sketch:

Today’s beauty
1 image



MS,Nov.,2923/12 Elaeocarpus sp. for id: 1 image.
Location : Aizawl, Mizoram

Altitude : ca.1,000 m
Date : 06-11-2022
Habit : Tree
Habitat : Wild/cultivated

Elaeocarpus serratus ?

Indian Olive

Looks different from images at


Identify the Eleocarpus sps..: 3 high res. images.
Eleocarpus tectorius..?

Difficult to say with these images.

Adding photos for further reference
2 high res. images.

It may be




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