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ALEXANDRIAN LAUREL or UNDI Calophyllum inophyllum Linn. (Order: Guttrferae).

Calophyllum is derived from the Greek meaning beautiful leaved. Inophyllum in reference to the texture and veins of the leaves. Description: A moderate-sized evergreen tree. Leaves 3 to 7 in. long by 3 to 4 in, wide, broadly elliptic, tip rounded, margins turned slightly downwards; leathery in texture, shining, lateral nerves close and parallel; leaf-stalk thick, f to & in. long. Flowers 3/8 to 7/8 in. across in small racemes 4-6 in. long arising one from each leaf axil. Stamens many. Fruit round 1 to 1.5 in. in diameter, smooth, covered with a waxy bloom, yellowish when ripe. Distribution: Indigenous to India along the coasts, Burma and Ceylon; East African Islands, Malaya, Australia and Polynesia. Gardening: A strikingly handsome tree with its dark green foliage and white, waxy flowers. The flowering apparently varies much with locality:N. Kanara in the cold season (Talbot); Travancore, March to April (Bourdillon); Bombay, about June to August (McCann). Uses: A greenish-coloured oil is expressed from the seeds, commercially known as Pinnay or Bomba Oil. The oil possesses a disagreeable odour, but it is extensively used for burning. It is also applied externally as a remedy for rheumatism. Mixed with chaulmogra oil it is used for skin eruptions. It is also used in the treatment of scabies, this point was recorded as far back as 1686 by Rheede, a Dutchman. The timber is used for the knees for boats. The trade name is Poon. Note: The flowers open in the morning and are insect pollinated. The outer coat of the fruit is eaten by bats and the same animals are responsible for a certain amount of seed dispersal.