Red Bead Tree
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Red Bead Tree
ative Photo: Subhankar Halder
Common name: Red Sandalwood, Coral-wood, Peacock flower fence, Red beadtree • Hindi: रक्तचंदन Rakt chandan, बड़ी गुम्ची Badi gumchi • Marathi: थोरला गुंज Thorla goonj • Tamil: Ani kundamani, Manjadi • Malayalam: Sem, Manchadi • Telugu: Gurivenda, Enugaguruginji • Kannada: ಆನೆಗುಲಗಂಜಿ Aane gulaganji, ದೊಡ್ಡಗುಲಗಂಜಿ Doddagulaganji, ಮಂಚಟಿಗೆ Manchatige, ಮಂಜಡಿ, ಮಂಜಾಡಿ Manjadi, ಮಂಜಿಟೆ Manjite, ಮಂಜಿಟಿ Manjiti • Bengali: Ranjana • Oriya: Sokakainjo • Konkani: Odlygunji • Assamese: Chandan • Gujarati: બડી ગુમ્ચી Badigumchi • Sanskrit: Ksharaka, kunchandana, Tamraka
Botanical name: Adenanthera pavonina    Family: Mimosaceae (Touch-me-not family)
Synonyms: Adenanthera gersenii, Adenanthera polita, Corallaria parvifolia

Red Bead Tree is a timber tree. This plant is found in the wild in India.

Photo: Radhika Vatsan
Leaves are compound bipinnate, green when young, turning yellow when old. The small, yellowish flower grows in dense drooping rat-tail flower heads, almost like cat-tail flower-heads. Fruits are curved, hanging, green pods that turn brown, coil up and split open as they ripen to reveal small bright red seeds.These attractive seeds have been used as beads in jewellery, leis and rosaries. They were also used in ancient India for weighing gold. The seeds are curiously similar in weight. Four seeds make up about one gramme. Children love the hard red seeds and few can resist collecting the brightly coloured seeds usually littered under the tree. The young leaves can be cooked and eaten. the wood is extremely hard and used in boat-building and making furniture.
Medicinal uses: A red powder made from the wood is also used as an antiseptic paste. In Ancient Indian medicine, the ground seeds are used to treat boils and inflammations. A decoction of the leaves is used to treat gout and rheumatism. The bark was used to wash hair.

Identification credit: Prashant More Photographed in Tripura & Mumbai.

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