Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L.

Sub-Family: Not available
English Name: Tree of Sorrow
Synonym: Bruschia macrocarpa Bertol.
Common Name: Mannapu, Coral jasmine, Night jasmine, Parijat, Sad tree
Flowering & Fruiting Period: September - April
Distribution: South Asia
Habitat: Grown in homesteads as garden plant
Uses: Sacred Indian plant. A saffron-yellow dye called nyctanthin is obtained from the flowers is used for colouring food. Flowers are used medicinally to provoke menstruation. The bitter leaves are useful as a cholagogue, laxative, diaphoretic and diuretic. An extract is given to children for the expulsion of roundworms and threadworms. Nyctanthin is allied to crocetin as found in saffron. The essential oil in the fragrant flowers, which is similar to the oil in jasmine, is used as perfume.
Key Characteristics: Large straggling but not climbing shrub or small tree; leaves decussate-opposite; inflorescence axillary or forming a large, terminal, leafy, decussate-branched panicle, composed of small terminal involucrate corymbs or head like umbellets, each 2-7 flowered; flowers, pleasantly fragrant; calyx campanulate, cylindric; stamens 2; filaments subobsolete; anthers 2-lobed; ovary superior, ovate-globose; capsule cordate or suborbicular.