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Description for Tree of West Bengal, Saptaparni
Botanical name of this plant is Alstonia scholaris. Generic name came after botanist, Prof. C. Alston of Edinburgh. Species name scholaris refers to the fact that the timber of this tree has traditionally been used to make wooden slates for school children.
It has rough, grey bark and large leaves that grow in clusters of seven. The flowers are small and greenish-yellow in color. The fruits are thin pods that can grow up to 20 inches long. The sap of the tree is sticky and bitter.
Planting and care
It has been extensively planted in India. Also seems to grow well in hot dry regions.
Caring for Tree of West Bengal
- It grows better under moist, warm climate but cannot stand water logging.
- Recommended for planting in parks, gardens and inside lawns. Suitable for avenue planting.
Typical uses of Tree of West Bengal
Special features: In Ayurveda it is used as a bitter and as an astringent herb for treating skin disorders, malarial fever, urticaria, chronic dysentery, diarrhea, in snake bite and for upper purification process of Panchakarma .
Culinary use: The latex provides a good quality chewing gum. It is usually used in making packing boxes, blackboards etc.
Ornamental use: It is used as the ornamental plant.
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