Casearia championii Thwaites

.  Casearia championii Thwaites (FLACOURTIACEAE)
Common names
Malayalam: Vella-kunnan

Description: Shrubs or small trees, up to 4 m tall; bark greyish, smooth. Leaves elliptic – oblong or lanceolate, 5-16 x 3-8 cm, attenuate at base, acute or acuminate at apex, the acumen often twisted crenato-repand to subentire, glabrous, green and glossy when mature; secondary veins 6-8 pairs; petioles 4-7 cm long. Flowers in axillary, pubescent racemose clusters, small, greenish yellow. Calyx 5-lobed, broadly ovate, ciliolate along margins. Stamens 8; filaments short, hairy; staminodes a little shorter than filaments, oblong, hairy. Ovary ovoid, glabrous; stigma recurved on short style, obscurely lobed. Fruit  a capsule, subglobose, ca 1.4 cm long, yellow when ripe. Seeds amny, covered by a large, fleshy, lacerate, fleshy aril.

Flowering & Fruiting: May – September.
Distribution: India: In moist deciduous to disturbed evergreen forests of the Western Ghats up to 1050 m.  Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. 
Sri Lanka.

Uses: The fruits are edible. The leaves are eaten in stews.The wood is hard and is used for making combs. The bark is used in tanning; it imparts a dark colour to leather. Decoction of root used in diabetes and piles; fruit diuretic.