Rottlera tinctoria Roxb.
A shrub or small evergreen tree 3-6 m high in Pakistan, elsewhere up to 20 m. Stems fluted in age. Bark rough, dark grey, thin. Wood white. Young shoots, petioles, leaves and inflorescences fulvous- to ferruginous-pubescent. Leaves alternate or subopposite. Petioles 1-4 (-7) cm long. Leaf-blades ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 5-15 x 2-9 cm, acute or subacutely shortly acuminate, subentire, cuneate, rounded or subtruncate at the base, triplinerved from the base, lateral nerves 3-8 pairs, tertiary nerves ± parallel, glabrous above, with a pair of large glands at the base, sparingly pubescent and minutely reddish-gland-dotted beneath, glaucous. Stipules minute, fugacious. Male inflorescences terminal, spicate or racemose, often clustered and appearing as if paniculate, up to 7 cm long, dense-flowered; bracts triangular, 1 mm long, persistent. Male flowers subsessile, or with pedicels 1 mm long; calyx-lobes ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, 3 x 1-1.5 mm, acute, pubescent, glandular; stamens c. 30, 3 mm long, anthers 1 mm long, with a few apical glands; disc minute, central. Female inflorescences ± as in the ♂, but shorter and less crowded. Female flowers sessile or subsessile; calyx-lobes 3-5, triangular-ovate, 1.5 mm long, closely adpressed to the ovary, subpersistent, otherwise as in the ♂; ovary subglobose, c. 1 mm diam., pubescent and densely red-glandular; styles 2-3 mm long, plumose, green. Fruit trilobite-subglobose, occasionally quadrilobate, 8-10 x 6-7 mm, ± smooth, densely covered with crimson granular glands, which rub off, loculicidally dehiscent. Seeds subglobose, c. 4 mm diam., ± smooth, black.
Fl. Per.: Feb: Nov. Fr. Per.: Mar: May.
Holotype: Philippines, Sonnerat s.n. (P-LA!).
Distribution: Widespread from W. Himalaya and Sri Lanka to Taiwan and throughout S.E. Asia and Malesia to E. Australia and Melanesia: 2000 - 5000'/ 610-1525 m.
Common and often gregarious on stony slopes and rocky hillsides with sand and thorn scrub; little touched by cattle and goats. The red powder on the fruits can be used for dyeing silk and wool, and also as an antiseptic and anthelminthic.