Calotropis gigantea, Tree of Shravana Nakshatra, Capricorn or Makar Rashi - Plant
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Description for Calotropis gigantea
Calotropis gigantea is a species of Calotropis native to Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Sri Lanka, India, China, Pakistan, Nepal, and tropical Africa. It is a large shrub growing to 4 m tall.
Arka is a perennial shrub growing 2.5 meter high with various branches and sub branches. Leaves are simple, opposite, subsessile, ovate and cordate at base. It has bunch of waxy flowers that are white or lavender in color. Flowers consists of pointed five petals and a small beautiful crown, which holds the stamen. It has milky stem and contains cardiac glycosides, fatty acid and calcium oxalate.
Planting and care
It can easily be propagated by seeds during March-April. Directly sow the seeds in filed in the sunny location and use well drained and fertile soil. Water the seeds regularly. Seeds will germinate in 5-6 weeks. You can mulch the seedling with organic mulch for reducing water loss and better growth of the plant by reducing weed growth. Fertilize the plant with any organic fertilizer during spring.
- It can also be propagated by cutting and layering. Sunlight: Full sunSoil: Well-drained soilWater: Moderately.Temperature: 19-37 degrees CFertilizer: Apply any organic fertilizer
Caring for Calotropis gigantea
- Select an area with dappled sunlight or partial shade for planting this plant.
- Keep the soil moist, but not waterlogged.
- Allow the soil to dry between waterings.
- Choose a spot with full sun exposure for a mature plant.
- Apply an organic fertilizer according to the need.
- Prune the plant every year to maintain the shape and size of the tree.
- Prune the damaged and diseased branches.
Typical uses of Calotropis gigantea
Special features: Where winter hardy, grow as a hedge or train as a small tree. Where not winter hardy, grow in containers which must be overwintered indoors.
Ornamental use: Its generally kept indoors in the living room and in terrace area. The flowers are long lasting, and in Thailand, they are used in floral arrangements. Where winter hardy, grow as a hedge or train as a small tree.
Medicinal use: The whole plant of Calotropis, leaves, barks as well as its latex have been employed in the treatment and management of many health conditions such as jaundice, joint pains, fever, asthma, snake bite, malaria, and dysmenorrhoea. Latex is soaked in cotton for application into the dental cavity to treat toothache, gum bleeding and for dressing fresh skin burns.
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