Ashok

Ashok

Kingdom: Plantae

Phyllum: Magnoliophyta

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order: Fabales

Family:Caesalpiniaceae

Genus: Saraca

Species: Saraca asoca

Botanical Description

Habit: A fast growing, small to medium-sized, evergreen tree, 6-9 m tall with drooping branches and leaves.

Medicinal plants

Leaves: Leaves even pinnate, rachis 10-23 cm long, leaflets 3-5 pairs, 9-25 x 2.5-10.0 cm, oblong to lanceolate, acute to acuminate, rounded to cuneate or occasionally cordate at the base, rigidly subcoriaceous, glabrous.

Inflorescence: Inflorescence racemose, compact, rather small, branched corymbs of about 3-15 cm broad, arising from the end of the leafy branches or nodes of old wood, often growing on trunk.

Flowers: Flowers apetalous, orange-yellow to red, about 5 cm long. Bracts small, c 1-6 x 1.0-3.5 mm, elliptic to obovate, persistent, bracteoles c 2-7 x 1-4 mm, similar to bracts, persistent, clasping the pedicels, pedicels 1.0-2.5 cm long. Calyx orange to orange-salmon, tube 1.0-1.7 cm long, sepals 4, c 0.5-1.2 x 0.5-0.9 cm, ovate-oblong, obtuse or 4rounded at the tip.

Androecium: Stamens 6-8, sometimes up to 10, perfect stamens 7 to 8, crimson,slender, long   exserted.

Gynoecium: Ovary pubescent along the margin.

Fruits: Pods 10-15 x 2-5 cm with 5 mm long stipe, flattened, oval to oblong, beaked at the apex, woody, dehiscing into 2 valves, 4-8 seeded.

Seeds: Seeds large, thick and compressed, reddish-brown.

Economic Importance: The plant is cultivated as an ornamental tree. Medicinally the tree is very important. In the homoeopathic system, a mother tincture made from the bark of the tree is very effective in many female diseases. The flower pounded and mixed with water is considered useful in acute dysentery.

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