Oroxylum indicum

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Oroxylum indicum (L.) Kurz
  • Synonyms : Bignonia indica L.
  • Common Name : Tetu, Aralu, Broken Bones Tree, Tree of Damocles, Bhut-Vriksh, Mid-Night Horror.
  • Common Name Details :

    The tree is called 'Broken Bones tree' mainly because when it grows large, leaf stalks that wither and fall off to the base of the tree, making it appear like a pile of broken limb bones. Hence, the name Broken Bone tree is derived.

  • Plant Family : Bignoniaceae
  • Plant Form : Tree
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park, Ayurvedic Udyan

About Oroxylum indicum Plant :

  • Habit : A small tree with green juice.
  • Leaves : 3-5 feet long, bi or tripinnate, pinnae opposite, leaflets 2-4 pairs, ovate or elliptic, acuminate, cordate.
  • Flowers :
    • Foetid, in large erect racemes, 1-2 feet long.
    • Calyx campanulate, corolla whitish or bright-purple, bell-shaped, fleshy, lobes 5, margins crisped.
    • Stamens 5, exserted, 1 shorter than other 4, filaments hairy at base.
    • Ovary superior, 2-celled, ovules many, style long, stigma bilobed.
  • Fruit :
    • Capsules 2-valved, 2-3 feet long, sword-like, flat.
    • Seeds many, flat and winged, thin with silvery wings.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : May - August
  • Significance :
    • The tree is often grown as an ornamental for its strange appearance.
    • The seed is used in the traditional Indian ayurvedic medicine.
    • The root bark is used, administered as astringent, bitter tonic, stomachic and useful in diarrhea and dysentery.
    • The paste made of the bark powder is applied to cure diseases such as mouth cancer, scabies and other skin diseases in certain part of the world.
    • People also apply the paste in the neck and throat area for quick relief of tonsil pain.
    • It is also applied on the wounds of animals to kill maggots.