Strychnos nux-vomica

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Strychnos nux-vomica L.
  • Common Name : Zehri Kochlu, Nux Vomica, Poison Nut
  • Plant Family : Loganiaceae
  • Plant Form : Tree
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Indroda Park

About Strychnos nux-vomica Plant :

  • Habit : A large deciduous tree often with a short, sharp axillary spines and bark thin, grey smooth or rough with lenticels.
  • Leaves : Broadly elliptic, acute, obtuse or shortly acuminate, glabrous and shining, 5-nerved (the lateral pair often faint), base usually rounded, petiolate.
  • Inflorescence : Terminal pedunculate pubescent compound cymes.
  • Flowers :
    • Numerous, greenish-white in colour with peduncles and pedicels are short, pubescent.
    • Calyx pubescent outside, lanceolate.
    • Corolla less than below 1.2 cm, having 5 lobes, oblong, acute, glabrous outside, tube cylindric, hairy inside below with glabrous throat.
    • Ovary and style glabrous.
  • Fruit :
    • Globose, slightly rough but shining, orange-red when ripe.
    • Seeds usually many, discoid, much compressed, concave on one side and convex on other, loathed on both side with fine, grey, silky hairs radiating from center.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : March - April
  • Significance :
    • Strychnine is obtained from the seeds which is exported in large quantities from India.
    • It is used as aromatic, also against stomachache, nervetonic, cholera, used as poultice on wounds with Maggots and ulcers.
    • It is also used in curing colic, respiratory and cardiac stimulant, dysentery, fever and dyspepsia.
    • Although the fruit pulp contains small quantity of strychnine, it is eaten voraciously by birds and natives in some localities.
    • Strychnine, also used in the distillation of country spirits to make them more potent.
    • The wood is not attacked by termites and is used in ploughs, axe handles etc.