The tree has been named after an incident depicted in an ancient story by Cicero, in which there is a sword hanging over the head of Damocles, from which we get the well-known reference to the "sword of Damocles. Within these pods are the seeds that come to be used in Chinese herbal medicine; when the pod bursts open the seeds flutter to the ground, often traveling some distance, looking like butterflies. Oroxylum pod in the trees left and opened showing seeds right. The traditional use of this herb is for moistening the lungs to control dry cough due to heat; restoring normal voice in cases of hoarseness or irritation; resolving liver qi stagnation and improving the flow of qi; and harmonizing the stomach. It is also used topically, to help treatment of persistent skin ulcers. Oroxylum is a relatively rarely used herb, and it is not found in many of the Materia Medica books available in English.

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Seeds are clearly seen [in 2 pods on the left and one pod on the right] in the last photograph. Photographed this July. Once i got a chance to get its one Pod and that is kept in Museum of my College. Photographed at my farm last Sunday Tetu pods emerging.

Very interesting! Looks like the bats have done their job even before the flowers open fully..! Its nice to see the rising of new fruits. But few pedicels have lost their flowers The few pedicels which appear to have lost their flowers, had actually flowered, been pollinated, dropped off in the morning and were lying on the ground, but inadvertently forgot to photograph them. Just thought of sharing some facts It is a monotypic genus meaning Oroxylum indicum [Tetu] flowering 1 : Photographed at my farm at Shahapur last weekend.

Wow and 10 more wows Its very intriguing that genes play such a role that facilitates the opening of flower at night on an upright condition. And then there are bats which will come to this plant due to its smell.

Flowers are oriented as sch that bats can sit on it but after pollination these petals fall off!! Then the fruits emerge and grow downwards so that they dont hamper the visit of flying bats which visit other flowers on the stalk!! No one can ever replicate how these plants and animals adapt in nature. My friend This tree is very common at this place. It is known as Ullu in Hindi and Sona in Bangla. Please feel free to let me know so that I may not burden you with these.

It is highly religious for Buddhists. Making most religious KHADA, page marking of Buddhists literature, religious decoration etc all are done by its white papery seeds.

Its flowers are quite tasty when fried. Flowers are also liked by rhinos. However, the plant is also having some medicinal properties!!!! So attached few pics from my file.


Oroxylum indicum

Common names: bat tree, broken bones plant, Damocles tree, Indian trumpet flower, midnight horror, scythe tree, tree of Damocles English ; aralu, bhatghila, toguna Assamese ; mu hu die Chinese ; bhut-vriksha, dirghavrinta, patrorna, shuran, sonapatha, syonak, tentoo, vatuk Hindi ; kampong Malaysian ; aralu, katvanga, prthsuimba, shoshana, shyonaka Sanskrit ; achi pana, arandei, cori-konnai, paiyara- landai, palaiyudaycci, peiarlankei, palagaipayani, vangam Tamil ; nam hoang ba, nuc nac Vietnamese. The Oroxylum indicum L. Kurz is a deciduous or semi-deciduous little ramified tree, up to about 15 m tall with cylindrical trunk of cm of diameter and brown-greyish bark vertically fissured. The leaves are opposite, grouped towards the apex of the branches, imparipinnate, bi- or tripinnate, 0,,5 m long and 0,9 m broad, with opposite leaflets from ovate to elliptic with pointed apex and entire margin, cm long and cm broad; the cylindrical foliar axes, enlarged in the points of insertion, which, when dry, cumulate at the base of the tree, give the impression of a pile of bones of broken limbs, whence one of the most characteristic common names. Inflorescences in 0,,5 m long erect terminal racemes carrying numerous hermaphroditic flowers, on a cm long pedicel, with coriaceous campanulate calyx, cm long and of 2 cm of diameter, funnel-shaped corolla, of about 10 cm of length and cm of diameter, with 5 lobes slightly retroflected, externally reddish purple, internally pale pinkish yellow and 5 stamina; the flowers open by night and emit an unpleasant odour which attracts the bats that take care of the pollination. Flowers open by night and are pollinated by bats.




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