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Useful Tropical Plants

Saraca indica

L.

Fabaceae


There seems to have been some confusion between this species and Saraca indica L., in the literature. Whilst this species is native to India and western Myanmar, Saraca indica (despite its name) is not found wild in India but is native further east in southeast Asia. Saraca asoca is the correct name for the plant, native to India, that is widely used in herbal medicine. It is quite likely that most of the uses mentioned under Saraca indica should instead apply to Saraca asoca[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

+ Synonyms

Jonesia minor Zoll. & Moritzi

Saraca arborescens Burm.f.

Saraca bijuga Prain

Saraca kunstleri Prain

Saraca minor (Zoll. & Moritzi) Miq.

Saraca zollingeriana Prain.

Jonesia asoca auct.

Saraca asoca auct.

Saraca harmandiana Pierre

Saraca lobbiana Baker

Saraca pierreana Craib

Common Name: Asoka Tree

Saraca indica
Drawing of the leaves, flowers and fruit
Photograph by: Kirtikar, K.R., Basu, B.D., Indian medicinal plants, Plates, vol. 2: t. 360 (1918)
Creative Commons License
Saraca indica Saraca indica Saraca indica

General Information

Saraca indica is an evergreen tree with a spreading crown; it can grow up to 24 metres tall. The bole can be 34cm in diameter[
362
Title
Dominica Botanic Gardens
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.da-academy.org/trees_shrubs.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource, providing top quality pictures and some basic information on various plants being grown at the Botanic Gardens, often including uses and habitat.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for its edible flowers and leaves, which are eaten locally, and for its medicinal uses. This tree is one of the most important sacred trees in India, both among Hindus and Buddhists, the handsome flowers being used as temple decorations[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
]. The tree is commonly grown as an ornamental[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
,
1594
Title
A Revision of the Genus Saraca L. (Legum. - Caes/)
Publication
Blumea 15, 2 pp 413-425, 1967
Author
Zuijderhoudt G.F.P.
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
 

Range

E. Asia - Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Vietnam.

Habitat

Evergreen forests, usually by streams and on riverbanks, at elevations up to 900 metres[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
,
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height20.00 m
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details


Thrives in a shady location, especially in moist to wet areas[
362
Title
Dominica Botanic Gardens
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.da-academy.org/trees_shrubs.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource, providing top quality pictures and some basic information on various plants being grown at the Botanic Gardens, often including uses and habitat.
]. Succeeds in full sun and in moderate shade[
974
Title
Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants - Identification and Cultivation of over 3,000 Tropical Plants
Publication
 
Author
Ahmed Fayaz
Publisher
Firefly Books Ltd.; New Zealand
Year
2011
ISBN
978-1-55407-489
Description
A good photograph and terse but detailed information for over 3,000 species of tropical plants. An excellent reference.
]. Requires a moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter[
974
Title
Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants - Identification and Cultivation of over 3,000 Tropical Plants
Publication
 
Author
Ahmed Fayaz
Publisher
Firefly Books Ltd.; New Zealand
Year
2011
ISBN
978-1-55407-489
Description
A good photograph and terse but detailed information for over 3,000 species of tropical plants. An excellent reference.
].
Trees can flower and produce fruit all year round[
451
Title
Flora Malesiana Series 1
Publication
 
Author
Various
Website
http://www.archive.org
Publisher
Nationaal Herbarium Nederiand, Universiteit Leiden branch
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A massive treatment of the plants of the Malaysian Archipelago. Much of it has been made available to download from the Internet
].
Although many species within the family Fabaceae have a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria, this species is said to be devoid of such a relationship and therefore does not fix atmospheric nitrogen[
1309
Title
The Leguminosae; A Source Book of Characteristics, Uses and Nodulation
Publication
 
Author
Allen O.N.; Allen E.K.
Publisher
University of Wisconsin
Year
1981
ISBN
0-333-32221-5
Description
An amazing and comprehensive work, giving a brief guide to the many genera of the family Fabaceae and also the principle uses of the genus.
].

Edible Uses

Flowers - cooked[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Aromatic, with a somewhat sour flavour[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
]. Eaten as a potherb[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Leaves[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

The fruits are used as a masticatory as a replacement for betel nuts (Areca spp.)[
301
Title
Cornucopia II
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications, California.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-9628087-2-5
Description
The second edition of an excellent guide to the edible uses of plants, though it does not give any details of cultivation etc.
].

Medicinal

The bark is a very popular herb in Ayurveda, where it is said to be particularly useful for treating the female reproductive system[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
]. It is strongly astringent and a uterine sedative[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
]. It is said to have a stimulating effect on uterine and ovarian tissue[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
,
362
Title
Dominica Botanic Gardens
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.da-academy.org/trees_shrubs.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource, providing top quality pictures and some basic information on various plants being grown at the Botanic Gardens, often including uses and habitat.
]. It is said to be useful in the treatment of several ailments including menstrual cramps; some cases of uterine bleeding; uterine fibroids; haemorrhoids, and internal bleeding[
304
Title
Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Kapoor. L. D.
Publisher
CRC Press, Florida.
Year
2001
ISBN
0-8493-2929-9
Description
A very detailed book on some of the key Ayurvedic herbs, giving both technical and non-technical information on each plant. The whole is very well referenced.
,
362
Title
Dominica Botanic Gardens
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.da-academy.org/trees_shrubs.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource, providing top quality pictures and some basic information on various plants being grown at the Botanic Gardens, often including uses and habitat.
].
The bark contains tannins and catechol[
240
Title
Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement).
Publication
 
Author
Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C.
Publisher
Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi.
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Very terse details of medicinal uses of plants with a wide range of references and details of research into the plants chemistry. Not for the casual reader.
].

Other Uses

The light reddish-brown wood is soft[
146
Title
A Manual of Indian Timbers.
Publication
 
Author
Gamble. J. S.
Publisher
Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh
Year
1972
ISBN
-
Description
First written in the 19th century, but still a classic, giving a lot of information on the uses and habitats of Indian trees. Not for the casual reader.
].

Propagation

Seed - if the seed is harvested when ripe and sown immediately, preferably after soaking in water for 12 hours, it will germinate within 3 weeks and will be ready to plant out within 6 - 12 months[
1595
Title
Ethnobotanical, phytochemical and pharmacological properties of Saraca asoca bark: A Review
Publication
ejpmr, 2016,3(6), 274-279
Author
Kauser A.S.; Hasan A.; Parrey S.A. & Ahmad W.
Website
http://www.ejpmr.com
Publisher
 
Year
2016
ISBN
2394-3211
Description
 
].
Air layering[
974
Title
Encyclopedia of Tropical Plants - Identification and Cultivation of over 3,000 Tropical Plants
Publication
 
Author
Ahmed Fayaz
Publisher
Firefly Books Ltd.; New Zealand
Year
2011
ISBN
978-1-55407-489
Description
A good photograph and terse but detailed information for over 3,000 species of tropical plants. An excellent reference.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-04-19. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Saraca+indica>

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