Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)

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Canthium coromandelicum (Burm.f.) Alston

Leaf arrangement


Leaf Type


Leaf Shape

Ovate, Elliptic, Obovate

Leaf Apex

Sub acute

Leaf Base


Leaf Margin


Habit : An armed shrub.

Habitat and Distribution : Common in the plains from the coast (scrub jungles) upto 750-1000m. India, Indo-China, west and south China, Malaysia.

Indigenous Information : The fruits are eaten by birds, bear, squirrel. To remove thorns that have got into the skin, the tender leaves are boiled and tied on the infected part to remove the thorn. The bark is made into a paste with turmeric and lime and applied on the forehead to cure headache. The shoots of magarai along with the shoots of Bankini and Kakrolai are made into a paste which is applied over the body before a bath to relieve body pain.

Field Tips : A dense armed shrub with horizontal branches.


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Irula : Magarai
Tamil : Mullukaarai, Theravai, Theranai, Karay chedi


In decussate, lax cymes, greenish. Flowering from May-August.

Fruit :

A drupe, globose, flattened with a median longitudinal groove, orange when ripe. Seed 1, oblong. Fruiting from July onwards.

All from Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)