The Palash tree is one of those few special trees which are famous for their beautiful, unique, and beneficial flowers. Most of the big trees are known for their wood, fruits, leaves, or bark, but the Palash tree is easily identifiable because of its gorgeous and virtuous flowers. These flowers have been very popular amongst the people of India since ancient times and they still have a lot of importance in the life of people in this modern era.
The Butea monosperma tree is known by many other names, it is called ‘Keshu tree’, ‘Dhak tree’, ‘Tesu tree’ in Hindi, ‘Kinshuk tree’ in Sanskrit, ‘Khakra tree’ in Gujarati, and ‘Palasham or Parasa tree’ in Tamil. Palash tree is also called the ‘Brahma tree’ because this tree is considered sacred and its wood is used many ceremonies and occults. It is considered pure and divine and has a lot of significance in Hindu traditions and culture.
The flowers of the Palash tree are called ‘Rakta Pushpa’ in Hindi, which translates to ‘The Blood Flowers’ because of their vibrant red color. When the flowers of the Palash trees are in full bloom it seems as if the whole landscape has been set on fire. This is the reason Butea monosperma trees are often referred to as ‘The flame of the forests’.
The Palash tree is very common in the Indian subcontinent and it is found growing from the plains and the plateaus to the foothills of the mountains. It is found very commonly in many states of India like Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal, North East region, and Jammu and Kashmir. The Palash tree fascinates one and all with its splendid beauty.
Palash Tree – Butea Monosperma – Scientific Description
The Palash tree is a medium-sized deciduous tree that grows in the height range of 10 to 15 meters. It belongs to the family ‘Fabaceae’ and genus ‘Butea’ and its scientific name is ‘Butea Monosperma’. This tree looks like a small shrub in the early stages of its life because of its many branches.
The Palash tree is widely distributed throughout various regions of India, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Ceylon. The bark of the Palash tree is light to dark brown in color, it is rough and fibrous and it oozes a reddish color gum when it is injured or cut. The leaves of this tree are tri foliated and green in color; they are quite large in size and always contain three leaflets.
The leaflets have an obtuse shape and they are generally 10 to 20 cm long. The calyx is about 12 mm long, dark, and green to brown in color with silky hairs from within. The fruit of the Palash tree is a pod that is about 15 to 20 cm long and 4 to 5 cm wide. It contains only one seed and this is the reason this tree is called ‘Monosperma’.
The Palash tree sheds all of its leaves around the months of November and December; this is the time when this tree looks almost lifeless. But from the month of January, the leaves and the flowers start to grow again, and till the month of March, it becomes a gorgeous tree with orange and vermilion flowers covering its entire crown. This is the time when most of the trees are taking the beating of harsh sunlight, but the Palash tree stands tall and strong and displays its beauty in the true sense.
Benefits And Uses Of Palash Tree
The Palash tree has been used in Ayurvedic practices and traditional medicine practices from ancient times. The benefits of the Palash tree have been described in Charaka Samhita, Susruta Samhita, Upanishads, and also in Vedas. This shows that it has been a very significant part of traditional and ancient medicinal practices. Let’s have a look at some of the beneficial properties of this tree.
1. The Palash tree is anti-inflammatory in nature; it is believed that its flowers can reduce the swelling of the body very quickly. Many people use these flowers for getting rid of swelling and pain by steaming the flowers and applying them at the swollen body part.
2. The Palash tree is also very effective in detoxifying the body. The flowers of the Palash tree can be dried and converted to powder form, which can be used to flush out the toxins from the body if one has any kind of toxins inside the body. The powder of the dried flowers may be slightly astringent, but it is very effective.
3. The Palash flowers are also considered to be aphrodisiac in nature. Although, the seeds of the Palash tree are more aphrodisiac in nature than the flowers. These seeds are present in the leguminous fruits of the tree. The flowers and seeds both work quite well for increasing male strength, vigor, and potency. The powder of flowers or seeds is generally consumed with milk in the morning and evening for better results.
4. If one has an infection, ulcers, or internal wounds in the intestines, then also the Palash flowers are very beneficial for the healing from these ulcers and infections of the stomach and the intestines.
5. The leaves of the Palash tree are anti-filarial, ant diabetic, antioxidant in nature. They are used to extract many important molecules that help the body to fight against worm infections, diabetes, etc. They also help to kill the free radicals in the body.
6. The studies have shown that the bark of the Palash tree has anti-diarrheal and wound healing properties; as such it is used for treating stomach related issues in traditional medicine practices. The bark of this tree is also effective in removing stress and anxiety.
7. The wood of the Palash tree is used in ritual ceremonies in the Hindu culture, it is considered as a sacred wood which kills the negativity in the air and purifies the environment.
8. In the recent past the flowers of the Palash tree were dried and colors were prepared from them. These colors were used to play Holi, the festival of colors in India. These colors did not harm the body in any way; as such, they were much better than the modern-day chemical colors.
Palash Flower – Beautiful and Beneficial
The flowers of the Palash tree give a unique and distinct identity to the tree. The flowers on this tree start appearing at the end of January month and then they bloom on the tree till the end of April month. The flowers are red or orangish in color, and the unique thing about them is that they are completely odorless. It is quite astonishing for many to see such beautiful flowers without any fragrance.
The flowers are medium-sized; they are nearly 14 cm long. Each flower of the Palash tree consists of multiple petals, there is one standard petal, and two smaller wing petals and a distinctly curved beak shaped petal on the top, which is quite similar to the beak of the parrot. This is the reason that this flower is also known as the ‘parrot flower’ and sometimes the Palash tree is called ‘parrot flower tree’.
The flowers of the Palash tree have been very significant since the ancient times, and they are still considered very important, as the new age world is again moving towards the herbal way of life. There have been many uses of the Palash flower since ages; their major application is seen in curing of stomach related disorders like digestion issues, stomachache, diarrhea, etc. These flowers are also used to cure leprosy, and skin problems.
The flowers also help to prevent mild fever and it is considered safe as a safe dose for even children. It is also very helpful in treating female problems like irregular menstrual cycles, leucorrhea, and infertility. The flowers are also used for releasing harmful toxins from the whole body and particularly from the liver and the hepatic region.
How to Grow Palash Tree – Butea Monosperma
The Palash trees are quite easy to grow, this is the reason they can be found growing in abundance in various parts of the country. It is a fast-growing tree and the young trees grow at an even faster pace. It can be grown in many types of soil; it is a dry season tree as such it does not even require a lot of water. It can also adapt well to the changes in the climatic conditions of the Indian subcontinent.
The Palash tree can be propagated by various methods like seed propagation, air layering, or cutting method. You can choose any method as per your requirement and linking. If you wish to save time you can even buy a healthy plant from the nursery and can be replanted in your pot.
For making the ideal potting mix for the growth of the Palash plant you can use 50 percent garden soil, 20 percent vermicompost, 20 percent cocopeat, 5 percent sand, and 5 percent mixture of bone meal and neem cake. The leaves of this plant are quite big which may make the tender plant droop down. As such, while planting it in the pot you should make some provision for the support of the plant.
You can put a small bamboo stick and tie the plant with it for proper support to the plant. You do not need to add any fertilizer for the few months to the potting mix. You can just water it regularly so that the soil does not go completely dry.
The best time to grow the Palash plant is the starting of the summer season because it is a dry season plant, and it will grow very well in this season. During the winter season, the Palash tree sheds its leaves, and then new leaves start to grow before the months of March and April.
The Palash tree is a great option for your garden, backyard, sidewalks, park, or any other space. With proper pruning, the Palash tree can be made a beautiful and ornamental flowering tree that can add vibrant colors to the ambiance of any place.