Botanical name: Delonix regia (family Fabaceae)
Gulmohar tree, also known as flame of the forest, is a tropical or subtropical flowering plant.. It is easy to see why as the orange-red colours of this tree’s flowers are so intense, that it looks like it is on fire. It looks fantastic when these trees blooms.
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It is also known by the names Gulmohar, Flamboyant Tree, Peacock Flower, Flame of the Forest, and Flame Tree.
Gulmohur had originated in Madagascar and is found in the tropical countries. Gulmohur is regarded as one of the most beautiful tropical trees in the world. It prefers the sun and does not like shade and doesn’t grow well in shaded areas. The tree is an evergreen deciduous with the branches spreading wide and forming an umbrella like canopy. This beautiful plant can tolerate salty conditions also and can be grown in coastal areas. This plant is well known for the comfortable shadow it provides with the help of its feathery foliage. In the central Indian deciduous forest area the flowering season of the plant is during April to June. During this time the trees become leafless.
Because of its hardy nature and aggressive root system , it is a good tree to control soil erosion in the arid and semi- arid areas. It is host for lac- insect also.
The flowers are large, with four spreading scarlet or orange-red petals up to 8 cm long, and a fifth upright petal called the standard, which is slightly larger and spotted with yellow and white. The naturally occurring variety flavida has yellow flowers.
Seed pods are dark brown and can be up to 60 cm long and 5 cm wide; the individual seeds, however, are small, weighing around 0.4 g on average.
The compound leaves have a feathery appearance and are a characteristic light, bright green.
The wood is employed locally for agricultural implements; handles for carpentry tools, combs etc. Principle use is as fuel, the calorific value of wood being 4600 kcal/kg.
The tree is mainly valued for its seeds, leaves, shade and ornamental value. The tree has several medicinal uses like it is used to treat constipation, inflammations, arthritis and hemiphlagia.
The seeds yield 18 to 27.5 % fatty oil known as the “ pangam” or “karanga” oil of commerce. Its main use is in tanning industry. The oil and its “karjan” possess insecticidal and anti- bacterial properties. The oil also finds use in soap- making, illuminating and pharmaceutical preparations. The oil cake is good fertiliser. The seed cake can also be used in poultry ration to substitute black “til” component of ration.
The seed is carminative, purifies and enriches the blood and is used in cases of inflammation, “ear ache” and chest complaint.