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Oroxylum indicum

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Oroxylum indicum is a species of flowering plant belonging to the monotypic genus Oroxylum and the family Bignoniaceae, are commonly called midnight horror,<ref name=GRIN>Template:GRIN</ref> oroxylum,<ref name=GRIN/> Indian trumpet flower,<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> broken bones,<ref name="bones">Template:Cite web</ref> Indian caper, or tree of Damocles.<ref name="ijps">Template:Cite journal</ref> It can reach a height of Template:Convert. Various segments of the tree are used in traditional medicine.<ref name=ijps/>

Description

The large leaf stalks wither and fall off the tree and collect near the base of the trunk, appearing to look like a pile of broken limb bones. The pinnate leaves are approximately Template:Convert in length and comparably wide,<ref name=bones/><ref>Template:Cite web</ref> borne on petioles or stalks up to Template:Convert in length, making this the largest of all dicot tree leaves, which are quadripinnate (leaflets display four orders of branching).<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

The tree is a night-bloomer and flowers are adapted to natural pollination by bats.<ref name=bones/> They form enormous seed pods – the fruits – are up to Template:Convert long that hang down from bare branches, resembling swords.<ref name=bones/><ref>Template:Cite book</ref> The long fruits curve downward and resemble the wings of a large bird or dangling sickles or swords in the night, giving the name "tree of Damocles".<ref name=ijps/> The seeds are round with papery wings.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref>

Distribution

O. indicum is native to the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayan foothills with a part extending to Bhutan and southern China, Indochina and the Malesia regions.Template:Citation needed In Vietnam, the tree is called núc nác (sometimes sò đo), and specimens can be found in Cat Tien National Park.

It is visible in the forest biome of Manas National Park in Assam, India. It is found, raised and planted in large number in the forest areas of the Banswara district in the state of Rajasthan in India. It is reported in the list of rare, endangered and threatened plants of Kerala (South India). It is also found in Sri Lanka.<ref name="Theobald">Theobald, W.L. (1981). Bignoniace. In: Dassanayake, M.D. and Fosberg, F.R. (Eds.). A Revised Handbook to the Flora of Ceylon. Amerind Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi.</ref>

Ecology

Oroxylum indicum lives in relationship with the actinomycete Pseudonocardia oroxyli present in the soil surrounding the roots.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> Septobasidium bogoriense is a fungal species responsible for velvet blight in O. indicum.Template:Citation needed

Phytochemistry

Various segments of O. indicum, including leaves, root bark, heartwood, and seeds, contain diverse phytochemicals, such as prunetin, sitosterol, oroxindin, oroxylin-A, biochanin-A, ellagic acid, tetuin, anthraquinone, and emodin.<ref name=ijps/><ref>Template:Cite journal</ref> Several of the compounds are under preliminary research to identify their potential biological properties.<ref name=ijps/>

Uses

The tree is often grown as an ornamental plant for its strange appearance. Materials used include the wood, tannins and dyestuffs.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref>

In marriage rituals

The plant is used by the Kirat, Sunuwar, Rai, Limbu, Yakha in Nepal, the Thai in Thailand and the Lao in Laos.

In the Himalayas, people hang sculptures or garlands made from O. indicum (Skr. shyonaka) seeds from the roof of their homes in belief they provide protection.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

As food

It is a plant with edible leaves and stems.<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> The large young pods, known as Lin mai or Lin fa in Loei, are eaten especially in Thailand and Laos. They are first grilled over charcoal fire and then the bitter inner pulp is usually scraped and eaten along with lap.<ref>Thai Dishes, Central Part And South Template:Webarchive</ref>

In traditional medicines

O. indicum seeds are used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines.Template:Citation needed Root bark is one of the ingredients thought to be useful in compound formulations in Ayurveda and other folk remedies.<ref>Template:Cite journal</ref><ref name="Jayaweera">Jayaweera, D.M.A. (1981). Medicinal Plants (Indigenous and Exotic) Used in Ceylon. Part I (Acanthaceae – Burseraceae). National Science Council of Sri Lanka, Colombo.</ref>

Gallery

See also

References

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External links

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