Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Butea monosperma Lam.

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Butea monosperma Lam. Family


Butea monosperma Lam. English Name

Flame Of the Forest

Butea monosperma Lam. Local Name


Butea monosperma Lam.

Butea monosperma Lam. Description

This plant is deciduous small sized tree that grow up to the height of about 15 m. The leaves of the plant are around 9 to 15 cm long and are pinnate having long petiole. Three leaflets are present, and each leaflet is about 8 to 20 cm long. The flowers are bright red t orange in colour and are about 3 cm long. The fruit is a pod, and it is around 15 to 22 cm long and 4 to 6 cm broad with a single seed.

Butea monosperma Lam.

Butea monosperma Lam. Distribution

It is native to tropical and subtropical parts of the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. A tree of drier areas in tropical and subtropical climates growing at low to moderate elevations up to 1500m. It is found in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range -4- 49 0C, and the mean annual rainfall is 450-4500mm. Plants can tolerate some frost, though they are usually defoliated. Plants prefer a sunny position, though they also thrive with some shade.

Butea monosperma Lam.

Butea monosperma Lam. Uses

It is used for timber, resin, fodder, medicine, and dye. The wood is dirty white and soft. Being durable under water, it is used for well-curbs and water scoops. Spoons and ladles made of this tree are used in various Hindu rituals to pour ghee into the fire. Good charcoal can be obtained from it. The leaves are usually very leathery and not eaten by cattle. The leaves were used by earlier generations of people to serve food where plastic plates would be used today. The flowers are used to prepare a traditional Holi colour called “Kesari”. It is also used as a dye for fabric. Stem bark is used to treat dyspepsia, diarrhea, dysentery, diabetes, ulcers, and sore throat and snake bites.

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