Note on Celastrus paniculatus Willd. ssp. aggregatus K.M. Matthew ex K.T. Matthew (Celastraceae)


J.W. Francis 1, M.M. Dandu 2, M.M. Sardesai 3 & A.S. Dhabe 4


1–4 Department of Botany, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad Maharashtra 431004, India

Email:  1, 2, 3 (corresponding author), 4




Date of publication (online): 26 December 2012

Date of publication (print): 26 December 2012

ISSN 0974-7907 (online) | 0974-7893 (print)


Editor: N.P. Balakrishnan


Manuscript details:

Ms # o2912

Received 13 August 2011

Final received 10 April 2012

Finally accepted 18 October 2012


Citation: Francis, J.W., M.M. Dandu, M.M. Sardesai & A.S. Dhabe (2012). Note on Celastrus paniculatus Willd. ssp. aggregatus K.M. Matthew ex K.T. Matthew (Celastraceae). Journal of Threatened Taxa 4(15): 3450–3453.


Copyright: © J.W. Francis, M.M. Dandu, M.M. Sardesai & A.S. Dhabe 2012. Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium for non-profit purposes, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Acknowledgements: The authors are thankful the Head, Department of Botany, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University, Aurangabad for extending full support and cooperation. We also express our gratitude to the directors of BAMU, BLAT, BSI, CNH, HIFP, PBL, MH and SUK for their help during our consultation.




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Celastrus L., a large genus of the family  Celastraceae, is widely distributed in tropical, subtropical, and temperate zones of Asia, Australia, and North and South America, as well as in Madagascar between 400S and 470N.  It is represented by ca. 31 species in the world (Mabberley 2008).  In India, the genus is represented by seven species and one subspecies (Francis et al. 2009), of which the majority of the species are endemic and distributed predominantly in northeastern India.

Celastrus paniculatus Willd. belonging to subgenus Celastrus series Paniculati Rehd. & Wiels., section Celastrus, is highly polymorphic and is one of the most widespread species distributed chiefly in India, Myanmar, Thailand, China, Indonesia and Philippines.

The wider distribution and the variable leaf forms of this species have been the cause of many synonyms in the past (Ding-Hou 1955).  Moreover, based on herbarium materials of different geographical locations and measurable differences, Ding-Hou treated three different populations as three subspecies—C. paniculatus Willd. ssp. paniculatus, C. paniculatus ssp. serratus (Blanco) Ding-Hou and C. paniculatus ssp. multiflorus (Roxb.) Ding-Hou.  However, there are so many transitional blade forms that it is hard to distinguish between them (Zhang & Funston 2008).

Thereafter, Matthew (1991, 1996, 1999) segregated C. paniculatus Willd. into two subspecies, namely, paniculatus (Images 4 & 5) and aggregatus (Images 1–3) based on the differences in size of inflorescences, number of bisexual flowers, number of capsules per infrutescence and shape of the leaf apex.  He further stated that subspecies aggregatus occurs clearly at higher altitudes than the typical variant.

After 1996, the subspecies aggregatus was not recorded by subsequent workers.  Later, Francis et al. (2009) reported this subspecies from Aurangabad District of Maharashtra, at about 600–800 m, followed by Hegde & Hegde (2011) from Karnataka State.  Meanwhile, the present authors consulted different herbaria in India such as the Central National Herbarium, Howrah, Kolkata (CAL), Botanical Survey of India, Western Circle, Pune (BSI); Blatter Herbarium, St. XavierŐs College, Mumbai (BLAT); Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University Herbarium, Aurangabad (BAMU), Shivaji University Herbarium, Kolhapur (SUK), Botanical Survey of India, Coimbatore (MH) and Herbarium of French Institute of Pondicherry, Pondicherry (HIFP), Botanical Survey of India, Andaman & Nicobar Circle Regional Herbarium (PBL).

During the herbarium consultation the authors found that, all the herbaria specimens of both the subspecies are deposited without segregation.  The only exception was PBL, as it did not possess any herbarium specimen of subspecies aggregatus.  However, the specimens collected from Andaman Islands were deposited at CAL.  This shows that the subspecies occur in all the states of peninsular India and Andaman Islands.

The following specimens examined in various herbaria belong to the population of Celastrus paniculatus Willd. ssp. aggregatus K.M. Matthew ex K.T. Matthew.  Hence, the present record of this subspecies also forms a new report to the states of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Goa and Andaman Island.

Celastrus paniculatus Willd. Sp. Pl. 1: 1125. 1795 ssp. aggregatus K.M. Matthew ex K.T. Matthew in Kew Bull. 46: 540, f. l, 2. 1991; K.M. Matthew, Ill. Fl. Palni Hills: t. 122. 1996 & Fl. Palni Hills 1: 216. 1999; Francis et al. Rheedea 19 (1&2): 73–74. 2009. Hegde & Hegde in J. Threat. Taxa. 3(4): 1731–1734. 2011.

Scandent shrubs. Leaves alternate, broadly elliptic, subcoriaceous, apex abruptly acute or retuse, base obtuse, margins shallowly crenulate, to 10×6 cm.  Flowers in condensed panicles, greenish white, polygamous. Sepals suborbicular.  Petals ovate to oblong, reflexed.  Capsule loculicidal, to 1.2×1.1 cm.  Seeds 1-6 per capsule, broadly ellipsoid, completely covered with deep orange fleshy aril.

Flowering and fruiting: July–December.

Illus.: K.M. Mathew, loc. cit.


Specimens examined:

Andaman Islands: ix.1900, Andaman Islands, coll. Prain, 86181 (PBL).

Andhra Pradesh: 19.ix.1956, Addatigala, E. Godavari, coll. S.K. Wagh, 09891 (BLAT); 19.ix.1956, Addatigala, E. Godavari, coll. S.K. Wagh, 09892 (BLAT); 13.x.1964, Golugonda, coll. G.V. Subbarao, 21647/41178 (MH); 21.viii.1965, Vishnu Nandi, coll. J.L. Ellis, 25419/49572, 49573 (MH); 28.viii.1966, Chitapalli, coll. G.V. Subbarao, 28137/53878 (MH); 30.ix.1974, Papavinashinam Chittor, coll. G.V. Subbarao, 45907/89290, 89291 (MH); 12.xi.1975, Vallakadu, coll. Vivekananthan, 46652/90858,90859 (MH); 24.ix.1994, Thattilanga, coll. V.S. Chandraseler, 103414/167606, 167607,167616 (MH) 27.viii.1995, Bhadrachalam, coll. V.S. Chandraseler, 104308/167932, 167933 (MH).

Goa:  24.viii.1963, Todalowwary, Conacona, coll. K.C.Kanodia, 41553; 13.x.1964, Margao, coll. K.K. Ahuja, 48151 both deposited in BSI.

Karnataka: 30.viii.1961, Namadachilume Forests, Mysore, coll. R. Seshagiri Rao, 38038 (BSI); 24.viii.1964, Bandipur, coll. B.D. Naithani, 22149/40437,40438(MH); 17.vii.1965, Bannuhalla, Hassan  Dt.,  coll. C.  Saldanha, 14151 (CNH); 29.xi.1971, Kalhatti-Masinagndi, coll. N.C. Rathakrishnan, 39079/76290, 76291 (MH); 09.x.1976, Mangala Devi Temple, coll. K. Vivekananthan, 48626/94067, 94068 (MH); 19.ix.1980, Barangi, coll. G.V. Subbarao, 67577/137334,137934 (MH); 28.iii.1977, Tlaspacanvery, coll. Pascal, 004118/819 (HIFP); 28.iii.1977, Tlaspacanvery, coll. Pascal, 004118/819 (HIFP);, Hatuebera Belta, coll. B.R. Ramesh, 004123/1220 (HIFP);, Hatuebera Belta, coll. B.R. Ramesh, 004124/1220 (HIFP); 01.iv.1964, Malleshwara, coll. R. Sundara Raghvan, 46087 (BSI); 15.ix.1974, Joginath St. Forest Chitradurg, coll. N.P. Singh, 111184 (BSI); 29.iv. 2007, Belgaon, N.V. Malpure, s.n. (SUK).

Kerala: 15.ix.1928, Ponnemodi, coll. V. Narayanswamy, 1647/77773 (MH); 26.x.1929, Wayanad, coll. J.S. Gamble, 10024 (MH); 16.xi.1975, Thekkady, coll. K. Vivekananthan, 46689/90932, 90933 (MH); 20.xii.1979, Chandanthode, coll. V.S. Ramchandran, 65351/114916,114917 (MH); 26.iii.1980, Munnar to Kunnili, coll. Ramamurthy, 66392/121965,121966 (MH); 25.ix.1981, Kulamavu, coll. C.N. Mohanan, 71974/137665,137666(MH); 09.xii.1992, Peryar WLS. Kottayam, coll. Ramesh & De Frances che, 004128 (HIFP); 09.xii.1992, Peryar WLS. Kottayam, coll. Ramesh & De Frances che, 004129 (HIFP).

Maharashtra: 25.iv.1902, Amboli, Belgaum Vengrula Road, coll. G.A. Gammie (BSI); 20.x.1965, Pokhri Ghat, coll. J.A. Vasavada, 2529 (BSI); 04.vii.1965, Tamboli,Ratnagiri, coll. P.J. Cherian, 96502 (BSI); 09.xi.1965, Chankul near Amboli, Ratnagiri, coll. B.G. Kulkarni, 62243 (BSI); 09.xi.1965, Chaukul near Amboli, Ratnagiri, coll. B.G. Kulkarni, 96500 (BSI); 18.vii.1966, Bahre-Nansi, Nashik, coll. R. Seshagiri Rao, 66882 (BSI);, Mosai Village, Dhasai Range, Thane, coll. K.V. Billore, 73971 (BSI); 18.vii.1967, Kiratmal Point Range, Nashik, coll. John Cherian, 66854 (BSI); 29.v.1970, Derwan, Ratnagiri, coll. B.G. Kulkarni, 963387 (BSI); 07.v.1983,  Vasi, Mumbai, coll. P.L. Narasimhan, 107029 (BSI); 15.xi.1983, Sonaburdi Forest River area, Buldhana, coll. P.G. Diwakar 123063 (BSI); 29.ix.1984, Boripoda round, Nashik, coll. P.L. Narsimhan, 102023 (BSI); 27.v.1951, M.R.B.C mar. Parwati, Pune, coll. B.A. Razi, 09981 (BLAT); 04.ix.1954, Waghai, Pimpri road, coll. Fr. Santapau S.J., 09939 (BLAT); 17.vii.1960, Karanja Gram, coll. P. Divakar, 09939 (BLAT); 23.viii.1960, Gram hill, coll. P. Divakar, 09966 (BLAT);, Chauka, Aurangabad, coll. Pokle D.S., 003161 (BAMU); 15.ix.1977, Nagzari, coll. B.R. Zate, 003146 (BAMU); 15.ix.1977, Nagzari, coll. B.R. Zate, 003147 (BAMU);15.ix.1977, Nagzari, coll. B.R. Zate, 003148 (BAMU); 15.ix.1977, Nagzari, coll. B.R. Zate, 003149 (BAMU); 09.viii.2000, Amba, Kolhapur Dist., coll. P.D. Mahekar, SUK68 (SUK); 21.vii.2008, Mhaismal, Aurangabad, coll. J.W. Francis & A.S. Dhabe, 004902 (BAMU); 23.viii.2008, Ratnagiri, coll. J.W. Francis & A.S. Dhabe, 004904 (BAMU); 05.xi.2008, Lamangaon, Aurangabad, coll. J.W. Francis & A.S. Dhabe, 004909 (BAMU); 04.vii.2009, Gautala, coll. J.W. Francis & A.S. Dhabe, 004917 (BAMU); 28.viii.2009, Radhanagri, Kolhapur, coll. J.W. Francis & A.S.Dhabe, 004922 (BAMU); 7.v.2011, Sulibanjan, Aurangabad, coll. A.S. Dhabe & J.W. Francis, 004936 (BAMU).

Tamil Nadu: 30.xii.1902, Udhagamandalam, coll. C.A. Barber, 5372/10033 (MH); 30.xii.1902, Udhagamandalam, coll. C.A. Barber, 5372/72866  (MH); 09.ix.1969, Panagudi, coll. B.V. Shetty, 32314/62492,62493 (MH); 20.v.1971, Nanduvattam, coll. J.L. Ellis, 38490/75109,75110 (MH); 23.i.1972, Madanand, coll. E. Vajravelu, 39596/77237,77238 (MH); 25.xi.1972, Edapalayam, coll. B.D. Sharma, 41666/80203, 80233(MH); 15.ix.1957, Shiriman Hills, Chennai, coll. Wallithanam, 09926 (BLAT)





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