Torchwood Tree
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Torchwood Tree
ative Photo: Milind Girdhari
Common name: Torchwood Tree • Hindi: Jilpai, kotagandhal, लोहाजंगिन Lohajangin, मशाल का झाड़ Mashal-ka-jhar • Kannada: ಗೊರವಿ Goravi, ಗೊರಜೆ Goraje, ಕೊರವಿ Koravi • Konkani: Kurati • Malayalam: Soochimulla • Marathi: गोरवीकटगी goravikatagi, माकडी maakadi, रायकुरा raikura • Sanskrit: Nemali, Nevali • Tamil: சுளுந்து culuntu, கோரான் koran
Botanical name: Ixora pavetta    Family: Rubiaceae (Coffee family)
Synonyms: Ixora decipiens, Ixora arborea

Torchwood Tree is a branched small tree, bark dark coloured, rough, younger branches hairless. Leaves are oppositely arranged, 7-15 x 3.5-6.5 cm, hairless, blunt or shortly pointed, stalk 5 mm long. Flowers are borne in corymb-like terminal panicle. Flowers are stalkless, 5-6 mm long, fragrant, white. Calyx is minute, teeth very small, obtuse. Flower-tube is threadlike, about 6 mm long, hairless, petals 4, reflexed. Filaments are about 0.5 mm; anthers equalling the corolla-lobes. Style is densely pubescent. exserted; stigma biforked. Fruit globose, 2-seeded, somewhat didymous, black when ripe. Very common on hills, deciduous slopes from 300-900m. India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh. A small piece of the wood is placed on the stone during prayer when the foundation stone for a house is being laid. Cultivated in the gardens as an ornamental throughout the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. Flowering: March-April.
Medicinal uses: Flowers, pounded with milk, for whooping cough. Bark: a decoction for anaemia and general debility. Fruit and root, given to females when urine is highly coloured.

Identification credit: Radha Veach, Shrikant Ingalhalikar Photographed in Aurangabad, Maharashtra & Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh.

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