S. India, Sri Lanka as per WCSP;

Habit- Small trees

Trunk\bark- Trunk with short simple or branched thorns; bark grey, lenticellate; blaze yellowish.
Branchlets- Young branchlets subterete, glabrous.
Leaves- Leaves simple, opposite, decussate; stipule linear, interpetiolar, caducous and leaving scar; petiole ca. 0.8 cm long, planoconvex in cross section, glabrous; lamina 3.5-7.5 x 1.3-3, obovate, apex obtuse to shortly acuminate with blunt tip, base attenuate, margin entire, coriaceous, glabrous beneath; midrib raised above; secondary nerves ca. 6 pairs, domatia present at axils; tertiary nerves obscure.
Flowers- Inflorescence umbel like corymbs, axillary; flowers white-cream; pedicel ca. 0.5 cm long.
Fruit & seed- Berry, globose, with crown of persistent calyx lobes; seeds many.
Trees in dry evergreen to semi-evergreen forests up to 600 m.
Peninsular India and Sri Lanka; in the Western Ghats- throughout.
(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)

25072017BHAR2 : 6 posts by 4 authors. 1 attachment- 2 MB.
Found in Vandalur Dry evergreen decidious forest. (Near Chennai).

Benkara sp. of Rubiaceae?

It looks Benkara malabarica of Rubiaceae

Benkara malabarica from Rubiaceae.


Benkara malabarica : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2)
Found in Vandalur.


ID KANNUR 02/19 : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (2)- around 550 kb each.
Please identify this armed shrub with opposite leaves from a small hill of Kannur district of Kerala. Only fruits are available with 5 calyx lobes at the top. 25/12/19

Could be Rhizophoraceae member,

Benkara malabarica (Rubiaceae).


ID/APRIL/2020/13 I D of the bush : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (7)
Please ID the plant.

Photographed in a field.
My ID Benkara malabarica.

Yes it’s, you’re right


MS/MAY/2020/2/ID – Benkara malabarica : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (3)
Please ID the bush.

Photograpged during last year in Chennai.
Suggested ID : Benkara malabarica

Yes it’s Benkara only …


Chilika lake, December 2021 :: Big shrub for ID :: ARK2022-028: 4 high res. images.

This was clicked at Satpada on the banks of the Chilika lake, Odisha in December 2021.
Requested to please ID.

Please check Randia/ Himalrandia/ Benkara/ Caturanegam !!

Pl. check with images at Catunaregam spinosa
To me appears close.

The leaves looked completely different though.
I have seen quite a few of these trees here in Maharashtra and the leaves looked different.

Leaves appear to be OK in the 3rd image.
Pl. check.
Is there any mix up?

No …, there is no mix up.
All pics belong to the same plant.
The leaves of the plants I have seen in Maharashtra have more pronounced veins, I think.

I do not find anything more closer than Catunaregam spinosa

Flora of Pakistan says:
Leaves opposite or fascicled on dwarf branches, obovate, 2.5–7.5 x 1.25–3.75 cm, rarely ovate or spathulate, entire, obtuse or acute, membranous, glabrous or pubescent on both surfaces, specially on the nerves beneath; shortly petioled, petiole hairy; lateral nerves prominent. 
Petiole 2-8 mm, pilose, pilosulous, or hirtellous to glabrous; leaf blade drying papery or subleathery, obovate or oblong-obovate or rarely ovate to spatulate, 1.8-11 × 1-5.7 cm, both surfaces glabrous to strigillose, strigose, hirtellous, or sparsely hirsute at least along principal veins, base cuneate and sometimes decurrent, margins entire or often shortly ciliate, apex acute; secondary veins 4-7 pairs, often with pilosulous domatia in abaxial axils;
Leaf base appears to be variable in the same image, which is creating some doubt in my mind also.

OK … We take it as Catunaregam spinosa.
I was referring to the leaves of this plant that I had seen in Mumbai

This appears to be Benkara malabarica (Lam.) Tirveng. [Rubiaceae]. The inflorescence structure (“in congested leaf-opposed, short peduncled cymes”) can be seen in the third image.

Thanks, …, for solving the mystery.

In that case, it appears more closer to images, details and references at Benkara fasciculata rather than those at Benkara malabarica
Pl. also see leaf bases in other three images.
Both are reported from Orissa as per BSI Flora of India checklist.
Also see POWO (Benkara fasciculata) and POWO (Benkara malabarica)

I don’t have access to a specific key for the two species of Benkara under consideration here. The description of Benkara fasciculata by King & Gamble on the India Biodiversity Portal is the only ‘detailed’ one that I could find. However, it is amply clear that the leaf shape of both the species can vary. The leaf shape of Benkara malabarica has been described variously by different authors as: “ovate, subacute at the apex, rounded at the base” (Talbot); “elliptic-oblong or oblong-lanceolate, subacute, tapering to the base” (Cooke); and “obovate to oblanceolate” (Brandis). Therefore, I doubt if the shape of the leaves can be a reliable distinguishing feature.
Speaking of leaves, what stands out in the available descriptions is the thickness:
B. fasciculata: Leaves membranous (King & Gamble);
B. malabarica: Leaves coriaceous (Talbot / Cooke / Brandis).
I feel that the inflorescence structure in the attached image posted by … is more revealing. There is a similar image of the inflorescence of B. malabarica in the Auroville Virtual Herbarium, it differs from the sparse flower clusters/fascicles of B. fasciculata in the eflora of India page. Brandis writes that the axillary fascicles of B. fasciculata are “few-flowered”.
B. fasciculata: Flowers axillary, in fascicles or solitary (King & Gamble); few-flowered (Brandis);
B. malabarica: Flowers in congested leaf-opposed, short-peduncled cymes (Talbot / Cooke).
Another distinctive floral feature appears to be the size of the corolla tube in relation to the lobes.
B. fasciculata: Corolla tube nearly 1 inch in length (King & Gamble);
B. malabarica: Corolla tube shorter than the lobes (Brandis); tube 0.2″ long (Talbot).

Thanks a lot, …, for the wonderful analysis and efforts.

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