Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Saraca indica Linn.

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Saraca indica Linn. Family


Saraca indica Linn. English name


Saraca indica Linn. Local Name

Ashoka Tree

Saraca indica Linn.

Saraca indica Linn. Description

This plant is an evergreen; slow-growing, small flowering tree and its height is up to 7 to 10 m. It is an easy to grow and easy to prune tree that flowers abundantly and provides a compact shaped canopy and makes it an ideal candidate as a lawn tree or a house plant. It shows symmetrical pyramidal growth with willowy weeping pendulous branches. The plant has umbrella like structure. The tree has compound leaves with 4 to 6 pairs of leaflets. The young leaflets changes colours from greyish white to pinkish and remain folded. The flowers produced in big dense clusters directly on trunk or branches. Unlike most other legumes, flowers have no petals. Sepals open yellow, aging to orange and red. Fruits are large, flat and leathery explosive pods (20cm), purplish when mature, shaped like scimitars. This tender foliage of coppery red colour offers an amazing sight

Saraca indica Linn.

Saraca indica Linn. Distribution

This plant is native to Indian subcontinent. It favours the warm humid climates of Pakistan, India, and Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam.. It is a rain forest tree and can easily be found in the Deccan Plateau and Western Ghats of the Indian subcontinent. It grows near streams and on riverbanks, at elevations up to 900 m.

Saraca indica Linn.

Saraca indica Linn. Uses

Flower of the plants are edible and are eaten after cooked. The fruits are used as a masticatory as a replacement for betel nuts. This tree is known for many health benefits to the human body. The barks and leaves are beneficial for treating menstrual problems in females including Dysmenorrhea, abdominal pain and uterine spasms. The bark of the tree has rich amounts of tannins, flavonoids, and glycosides that overall work as a uterine tonic. The roots and seeds of tree can be used to treat skin conditions including dermatitis, acne and psoriasis.

(Biswas and Debnath, 1972

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