Niepa Bark Tree
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Niepa Bark Tree
E Native Photo: Nandan Kalbag
Common name: Niepa Bark Tree • Hindi: लोखंडी Lokhandi • Kannada: ನೀಪಾ Nipa, samdera • Malayalam: Karinghota, കര്ംഗൊടാ Karingota • Marathi: लोखंडी Lokhandi • Sanskrit: गुच्छकरंजः Gucchakaranjah • Tamil: karincottai, நீபம் Nibam, நீபா Nipa
Botanical name: Quassia indica    Family: Simaroubaceae (Quassia family)
Synonyms: Samadera indica, Samadera madagascariensis

Niepa Bark Tree is an evergreen tree or shrub up to 10 m tall. Leaves are elliptic-oblong, somewhat pointed-rounded at base, pointed to tapering at tip, leathery, hairless, shining, netveined. Leaf-stalks are 1-2 cm long, stout. Flowers are 20 or more in umbel-like hairless or finely velvet-hairy clusters. Flower-cluster-stalks are 7-30 cm long, stout, flat, thick-above; Flower-stalks are 1-1.5 cm long, to 3 cm in fruit, jointed at base; bracts minute. Calyx 2-3 cm long, 4-lobed; sepals semiround, thick, finely velvet-hairy outside. Petals are 4, free, oblong-inverted-lanceshaped, blunt, 1-2 x about 0.5 cm, dorsally velvet-hairy, white, pale yellow or purplish. Stamens are 8, velvet-hairy. Anthers oblong-lanceshaped, 2-3 mm long; filaments finely velvet-hairy. Ovary is about 2 mm across, finely velvet-hairy; styles to 2 cm long, hairless. Fruits are 1-4 together, flat, smooth, glandular and netveined. Niepa Bark Tree is found in India, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. Flowering: All year.
Medicinal uses: The tree is considered to have medicinal properties in Ayurved. The bark and wood are stomachic, emmenagogue, febrifuge tonic. The leaves are useful in erysipelas and pruritus. The seed oil is astringent, acrid, thermogenic, depurative, emetic, purgative and febrifuge. It is useful in vitiated conditions of vata kapha, leprosy, scabies, pruritus, skin diseases, constipation and bilious fever.

Identification credit: Nandan Kalbag Photographed in Pune, Maharashtra,

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