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Valentine.gr  

November 2022

Did you know that the long fruits of Oroxylum indicum curve downward and resemble dangling sickles or swords in the night, like the sword of Damocles, giving the name "Tree of Damocles"?

Tree of Damocles (Oroxylum indicum).

Tree of Damocles - Oroxylum indicum

Oroxylum indicum is a species of flowering plant belonging to the monotypic genus Oroxylum and the family Bignoniaceae, and is commonly called Indian trumpet tree, Indian trumpet flower, broken bones, Indian caper, scythe tree or tree of Damocles. A locally popular vegetable in southeast Asia, it is especially liked in Java where it is often sold in local markets. Various segments of the tree are used in traditional medicine, where it is known as Shyonaka or Sona Patha. The plant is also widely used to supply a range of traditional remedies. A handsome specimen tree with bold, glossy foliage and extremely long and substantial fruits, it is often cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens of the tropics and subtropics.

Oroxylum indicum is a fast-growing, lanky and sparsely limbed evergreen or partly deciduous tree with an open, irregular crown; it can grow 10 - 20 metres tall. The bole can be 40cm in diameter.

It is a medium sized deciduous tree, growing 8-12 m tall. The bark is grayish brown with corky lenticels. The leaves are huge, 0.5-1.5 m long, 2-3 pinnate, leaflets 12 cm long and 8 cm broad,  borne on petioles or stalks up to 2 metres (6.6 ft) in length,making this the largest of all dicot tree leaves, which are quadripinnate (leaflets display four orders of branching). The large leaf stalks wither and fall off the tree and collect near the base of the trunk, appearing to look like a pile of broken limb bones.

The tree is a night-bloomer and flowers are adapted to natural pollination by bats. The flowers are reddish- purple outside and pale, spinkish-yellow within, numerous, in large erect racemes.

They form enormous seed pods – the fruits – are up to 1.5 metres  long and 5-10 cm broad, that hang down from bare branches, resembling swords. The long fruits curve downward and resemble the wings of a large bird or dangling sickles or swords in the night, like the  sword of Damocles, giving the name "tree of Damocles". The seeds are round with papery wings.

Oroxylum indicum is native to the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayan foothills with a part extending to Bhutan and southern China, Indochina and the Malesia regions. In Vietnam, the tree is called núc nác (sometimes sò đo), and specimens can be found in Cat Tien National Park.

The tree is often grown as an ornamental plant for its strange appearance. Materials used include the wood, tannins and dyestuffs.

Oroxylum indicum iss a plant with edible leaves, flower buds, pods and stems. Young leaves and flowers eaten raw or cooked. Eaten uncooked as a side dish with rice, usually with a mixture of various spices including chillies, red onions, candle nut, lemon grass and ginger. The young shoots can be eaten cooked as a vegetable.

The large young pods, known as Lin mai or Lin fa in Loei, are eaten especially in Thailand and Laos. They are first grilled over charcoal fire and then the inner tender seeds are usually scraped and eaten along with lap. The pods also eaten by Chakma people in Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh and India.

Known as karongkandai among the Bodos of north east India, its flowers and fruit are eaten as a bitter side dish with rice. It is often prepared with fermented or dried fish and believed by them to have medicinal uses.

The unripe seed is grilled and served with chilli sauce. Mature seeds are used to make a refreshing drink known as chub liang. The seed is also an ingredient of Chyavanprash, a famous Ayurvedic food tonic.

Oroxylum indicum seeds are used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. Root bark is one of the ingredients thought to be useful in compound formulations in Ayurveda and other folk remedies. The plant has a long history of traditional medicinal use and modern research has shown that it contains a number of medically active compounds.

The various parts of the plant are rich in flavonoids and glycosides and trials have shown various activities in the body. In particular, dichloromethane extracts of the stem bark and root have been shown to have antimicrobial activities against a range of both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and also the yeast Candida albicans. The isolated flavonoid baicalin has shown inhibitory effects against the human T cell leukaemia virus type 1, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1).

The bitter bark of the root is anti-allergic, astringent, blood purifier and tonic. It is used in the treatment of allergic diseases, urticaria, jaundice, asthma, sore throats, laryngitis, stomach complaints, diarrhoea and dysentery. An alcoholic maceration of the fresh bark is externally applied on allergic dermatitis. When mixed with turmeric, the bark is used for healing sores of animals. The root is credited with antirheumatic, antidysenteric and diuretic properties.

The seeds and bark are used medicinally for alleviating body pain, especially during fevers, and as an antiphlogistic medicine. It is also applied to burns and wounds. The juice of the bark is taken internally to treat diarrhoea and dysentery. A decoction of the bark is refrigerant, used in the treatment of fevers and jaundice. The seed is expectorant and laxative. A decoction is used in treating coughs, bronchitis and gastritis. The seeds are applied externally to ulcers.

A decoction of the leaves is drunk as a treatment for stomach-ache. Applied externally the leaves are employed in the treatment of cholera, fever, childbirth and rheumatic swellings. The boiled leaves are used as a poultice during and after childbirth, and in dysentery as well as for an enlarged spleen. Leaf poultices may be further applied for toothache and headache.

The seeds are used as a lining of hats and to cover umbrellas. The papery and wined seeds are strung together as an offering to the gods and goddesses, especially by Buddhists. The fruit is used in tanning and dyeing. The bark is rich in tannins.


Source:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oroxylum_indicum
https://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Oroxylum+indicum
http://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Broken%20Bones%20Tree.html

 

  LINK OF THE MONTH

 

Tejocote - Mexican hawthorn - Crataegus mexicana
Tree of Damocles - Oroxylum indicum
Talipot palm - Corypha umbraculifera
Albany pitcher plant - Cephalotus follicularis
Nipa palm - Nypa fruticans
Marmalade Box - Genipa americana
Ice Cream Bean - Inga edulis
Gular - Cluster fig - Ficus racemosa
Kei apple - Dovyalis caffra
Stork's Bill - Erodium cicutarium
Camu Camu - Myrciaria dubia
Pemphis - Pemphis acidula
Sisal - Agave sisalana
Jute Mallow - Corchorus olitorius
Sugar Apple - Annona squamosa
Sapodilla - Manilkara zapota
Black Sapote - Diospyros nigra
Star Apple - Chrysophyllum cainito
White Ginger Lily - Hedychium coronarium
Yuzu - Citrus junos
Wild Loquat - Sugar Plum - Uapaca kirkiana
Tonka - Cumaru - Dipteryx odorata
Chinese bayberry - Myrica rubra
Wood Apple - Limonia acidissima
Açaí - Euterpe oleracea
Tindola - Ivy gourd - Coccinia grandis
Blue honeysuckle - Haskap - Lonicera caerulea
Balata - Manilkara bidentata
Calabash nutmeg - Monodora myristica
Allanblackia
Kola nut - Cola nitida
Rainbow eucalyptus - Eucalyptus deglupta
Elephant apple - Dillenia indica
Australian Christmas tree - Nuytsia floribunda
Honeywort- Cerinthe major
Aconite - Monkshood - Wolfsbane - Aconitum napellus
Crown of Thorns - Euphorbia milii
Abyssinian banana - Ensete ventricosum
Goldenrain Tree - Koelreuteria paniculata
Naranjilla - Lulo - Solanum quitoense
Brazil nut tree - Bertholletia excelsa
Sea grape - Coccoloba uvifera
Bignay - Antidesma bunius
Cashew - Anacardium occidentale
Giant Himalayan Lily - Cardiocrinum giganteum
African Hemp - Sparrmannia africana
Lychee - Litchi chinensis
Prickly Heath - Gaultheria mucronata
Hoodia - Bushman's hat - Hoodia gordonii
Cannibals Tomato - Solanum viride
Ashoka - Saraca asoca
Ackee - Blighia sapida
African plum - Safou - Dacryodes edulis
Solandra - Solandra maxima
Stapelia - Stapelia gigantea
Foxglove - Digitalis purpurea
Swiss Cheese Plant - Monstera deliciosa
Chocolate flower - Berlandiera lyrata
Sandersonia - Sandersonia aurantiaca
Northern Japanese Magnolia - Magnolia kobus
Champak - Magnolia champaca
Hooker’s lips - Psychotria elata
Suicide Tree - Cerbera odollam
Konjac - Amorphophallus konjac
Madagascar ocotillo - Alluaudia procera
Water Banana - Typhonodorum lindleyanum
Salak - Salacca zalacca
Natal Plum - Carissa macrocarpa
Ashanti blood - Mussaenda erythrophylla
Duranta - Duranta erecta
Maqui - Aristotelia chilensis
Manuka - New Zealand Tea Tree - Leptospermum scoparium
Suriname cherry - Eugenia uniflora
Australian Finger Lime - Citrus australasica
Sacred Flower of the Incas - Cantua buxifolia
Job's tears - Coix Lacryma-jobi
Velvet Bean - Mucuna pruriens
Java Apple - Syzygium samarangense
Screwpine - Pandanus utilis
Marimo - Aegagropila linnaei
Achocha/Caigua - Inca cucumber - Cyclanthera pedata
Rubber Tree - Hevea brasiliensis
Sugar cane - Saccharum officinarum
Sacha inchi - Plukenetia volubilis
Coffea - Coffee Tree - Coffea arabica
Liquorice - Licorice - Glycyrrhiza glabra
Mullein -Verbascum thapsus
Iceplant - Mesembryanthemum crystallinum
Chayote - Sechium edule
Roselle - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Black Goji - Lycium ruthenicum Murray
Rose Cactus - Pereskia grandifolia
Durian - Durio zibethinus
Jackfruit tree - Artocarpus heterophyllus
Cassabanana - Sicana odorifera
Chilean myrtle - Arrayan - Luma apiculata
Kurrajong - Brachychiton populneus
Rice-paper Plant -Tetrapanax papyrifer
Shell Ginger - Alpinia zerumbet
Harlequin Glorybower - Clerodendrum trichotomum
Coco de Mer - Lodoicea maldivica
Silver Tree - Leucadendron argenteum
Buffaloberry - Shepherdia argentea
Himalayan Honeysuckle - Leycesteria formosa
Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
Waterwheel - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus
Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Man’s Fingers - Decaisnea
Bitter Melon - Momordica charantia
Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
Acerola - Malpighia
Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
Cherimoya - Annona cherimola
Caper - Capparis spinosa
Lithops - Living Stones
Chaste Tree - Vitex agnus-castus
Chilean Lantern Tree - Crinodendron hookerianum
Parrot's Beak - Lotus berthelotii
Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
Mickey Mouse bush - Ochna serrulata
Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma
Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
Paulownia - Paulownia tomentosa
Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard lily
Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
Cannonball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Tamarillo - Cyphomandra betacea
Goji - Wolfberry - Lycium barbarum
Vanilla - Vanilla Planifolia
Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
Pachypodium
Physalis
Ceropegia
Sturt pea - Swainsona formosa
Clematis
Grevillea
Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
Trochetia
Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
Angel's Trumpets - Brugmansia
Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
Firewheel Tree - Stenocarpus sinuatus
Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
Sedum
Hydnora - Hydnora africana
Pickerel Weed - Pontederia
Argan - Argania spinosa
Astilbe - False Goats Beard
Feijoa - Pineapple Guava - Acca sellowiana
Aquilegia - Columbine
Cassiope
Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
Portulaca
Lobelia
Field Poppy - Papaver Rhoeas
Narcissus - Daffodil
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens
Firethorn - Pyracantha
Star of Bethlehem - Ornithogalum
Cosmos
Muscari - Grape Hyacinth
Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus
Zinnia
Honeysuckle - Lonicera
Passiflora - Passion Flower
Calendula - Marigold
Lupine - Lupinus
Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
Oak - Quercus
Brunsvigia - Candelabra Flower
Tree peony - Paeonia suffruticosa
Olive - Olea europaea
Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
Desert rose - Adenium obesum
Oleander - Nerium Oleander
Abutilon
Sweet Pea - Lathyrus odoratus
Chaenomeles - Flowering Quince
Forsythia
Amaryllis - Hippeastrum
Butchers broom - Ruscus aculeatus
Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
Gloriosa
Bamboo
Gladiolus
Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
Fuchsia
Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
Heliconia
Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
Impantiens
Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
Rafflesia arnoldi

 

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