Nagkesar, Tree of Aslesha Nakshatra, Cancer or Kark Rashi - Plant
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Description for Nagkesar
An Indian evergreen tree often planted as an ornamental for its fragrant white flowers that yield a perfume, source of very heavy hardwood used for railroad ties. In olden time, the very hard timber was used for making lances. It is a small to medium-sized evergreen tree up to 13 m tall. It is the National tree of Sri Lanka. The tree is harvested from the wild for its wood, which is very hard and considered to be the hardest wood in Vietnam.
A sacred tree in India, it is also harvested in the wild for its oil-rich seed and aromatic flowers. Because of its slow growth rate, Mesua is not suitable as a plantation tree for timber production, however, it is an attractive lawn tree with vivid green leaves and showy, fragrant flowers. It is commonly grown along roadsides and in parks.
Planting and care
This plant can easily be grown by seeds in rainy season. Seeds germinate in 12-14 days. Container raised seedlings are the best planting stock and should be planted preferably in fairly rich and well-drained soil under suitable shade. Seedlings are planted in the field after one year when they are about 30 cm tall or after 2 years when they are about 75 cm tall.
Caring for Nagkesar
- This tree requires a warm, humid climate for best growth. Will however grow in moderate climates as well.
- Provide a porous, fertile soil and protected situation, preferably semi shade especially when young.
- Provide organic fertilizer every year during spring.
- Prune the tree every year during winter to shape the plant and also remove dead and diseased branches.
Typical uses of Flower of Tripura
Special features: It is a plant of Aslesha Nakshatra.
Culinary use: The seeds, known as 'surli nuts' are edible. They need to be well-cooked before eating. The fruit is wrinkled when ripe, resembling a chestnut in size, shape, and taste. Young leaves are also edible.
Ornamental use: Used as Roadside Tree, and Shade Providing Tree.
Medicinal use: The leaves are applied to the head in the form of a poultice for severe colds. Oil from the seeds is used for sores, scabies, wounds, and rheumatism. The root of this herb is often used as an antidote for snake poison. The dried flowers are used for bleeding hemorrhoids and dysentery with mucus. Fresh flowers are also prescribed for excessive thirst, excessive perspiration, cough, and for indigestion.
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