Open main menu

Page:Indian Medicinal Plants (Text Part 1).djvu/127

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Stamens 12-18; anther-cells contiguous, outer stamens sometimes without anthers. Ripe Carpels nearly sessile, 1 in. diam., globose, glabrous usually containing about 2 matured seeds.

Uses.—In the Konkan the leaves are used for fomentation by the natives. They have a pungent, astringent and bitter taste. (Dym. Pharm. Ind. Vol. I. P. 46).

37. Polyalthia longifolia, Benth and Hk. f. H.F.BR.I., I. 62. Roxb 455.

Syn.—Gualteria longifolia, Wall.

Vern.—Asok; Debdari, Devadârû, Deodar (H). Devdarû; Devada (B). Devdârû (Uriya). Asok, Asoka, Asopular, Asûpâl (Bomb); Ashopulo (Guj); Devadârû, Asoka, Asokam (Tel) Assothi (Tam); Asoka, putrajiva (Kam); in Ceylon Tamil it is Mara-illupai.

Habitat.—Cultivated throughout India, as an avenue tree in Tanjore and the Western Peninsula. Common in Ceylon and in Bombay Gardens. It is also found as a roadside tree in Bombay, much used in decorations of houses on festive occasions.

A large erect tree, very handsome with shining wavy-margined leaves on slender long branchlets. Bark thick, rather smooth, young parts glabrous. Wood yellowish-white, rather soft, medullary rays conspicuous. Leaves long, 6-9 in. shortly stalked, oblong or ovate-oblong, very gradually tapering into long attenuate apex, acute or rounded base, finely undulate, glabrous, thin, pellucid-dotted. Flowers greenish-yellow in axillary umbels on very short racemes mostly from the old wood, 3-10 or more together. Pedicels 1 in. or more long, slender, pubescent, with a hairy bractlet half way up. Sepals ovate-triangular, obtuse, tomentose. Petals ½ in. or more, lanceolate, linear, tapering, undulate, pubescent, the inner rather broader. Carpels about 8, ovoid, 1 in. long, glabrous, on stalks ½ in. long.

Use.—It is used as a febrifuge in the Balasore District of Orissa (Sir W. W. Hunter).