Gmelina arborea is a fast growing tree, which grows on different localities and prefers moist fertile valleys with 750–4500 mm rainfall.
Common name: Gamhar, gumhar, gamari, beechwood, goomar teak, Kashmir tree, Malay beechwood, white teak, vemane.
Color: Yellow and orange mix.
Bloom time: February to April
Height: Up to 30m.
Difficulty level: Medium
Planting & Care
Gmelina is very sensitive to soil conditions. It is capable of survival on poor dry sites, but its growth under these,conditions is poor and trees on such sites are very branchy and stunted, and tend to stagnate after a few years. Its, best growth is on freely drained, fertile soils, with no hardpan or other impediment to root development, in moist tropical regions.
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil: Well-drained soil with
Water: Keep soil moist throughout the growing season.
Temprature: 20-28 deg.
Fertilizer: Apply any organic fertilizer.
- Fill a pot or flat with soil, then water well.
- Place the seeds on top of the damp soil and cover with just enough soil so that the seed is no longer visible.
- You don’t need to water again until the soil is dry at least an inch deep.
- The easiest way to kill a neem seedlings – or tree – is to overwater.
- Try to put in a spot where it gets morning but not afternoon sun until it’s growing well.
- They also prefer shelter from high winds and heavy rain until they have time to develop a good root system but they will handle full sun and heavy rain once they’re established.
- Transplant into larger pots as they grow, since they’re like goldfish and will only get as big as their pots allow.
- They’re heavy feeders and must be fertilized regularly.
- We use a balanced organic fertilizer, but you may use a chemical product.
- Follow directions exactly – you will kill the tree if they get too many nutrients.
Harvesting: An alternative method of propagation involves taking cuttings from the tips of two- to three-week-old plants. The cuttings should be 12 cm long and include the terminal bud and four to six leaves, each reduced to one third of its surface area. Cuttings should be misted and kept at 22 - 25˚C. It is also possible to propagate this species by layering or grafting.
- You will need to bring your seedlings inside before temperatures drop below about 35 degrees.
- Put them in your sunniest window and provide supplemental light in the evening.
- Like many tropical plants, this trees are day-length sensitive and will stop growing in short winter days.
- Cut back on water while they’re not growing.
- With this plant, yellow or wilting leaves are a sign of too much water.
The Herbarium (one of the behind-the-scenes areas of Kew) contains many dried specimens of Gmelina arborea.
- Gmelina arborea has a wide range of local medicinal uses.
- The juice of young leaves has been used to treat gonorrhoea and as a cough medicine.
- The leaf juice has also been used externally to treat ulcers.
- A paste of the leaves has been applied to treat headaches associated with fever.
- The root has been used to treat epilepsy, fever and indigestion.
- The bittersweet fruit has been included in cooling decoctions given for fevers.