Holarrhena pubescens

Holarrhena pubescens (Buch - Ham) Wallich ex G. Don.
(APOCYNACEAE)
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Common names
Kannada: Kodasalu, Kutaja.
Tulu: Kutaja.
Malayalam: Kodaga pala.
Sanskrit: Kalinga, Pandura.
Tamil: Ve palei, Kodaga palei.
Telugu: Pala kodaga, Pala kodsa.

Description: Small trees, up to 10 m tall with brown, rough bark; white milky latex. Leaves opposite, broadly ovate or elliptic, 10-20 x 5-12 cm, rounded to obtuse at base, acuminate at apex, glabrous; main nerves 10-14 pairs; petiole ca 3 mm long, sometimes 0. Flowers in terminal long peduncled cymes, white, fragrant. Calyx lobes 5, white. Stamens 5, inserted at the base of the tube; filaments short. Disc 0. Ovary 2-locular; style short; stigma bifid. Fruit a dehiscing follicles, cylindric, 20-40 cm long, often dotted with white spots. Seeds many, linear oblong, tipped with deciduous coma of brown hairs.

Flowering & Fruiting: March - October.

Distribution: India: Common in all deciduous forests, up to 1000 m.  Malacca.

Uses:  Wood white, soft, even-grained, used for carving and turning in N. India, rarely in the south. Used for making small articles such as combs, picture-frames, carved boxes, toys, spoons, cups and platters, bobbins, bedstead legs, paper knives, walking-sticks, hookah stems, ploughs, beads etc. It is ideal for slate frames and suitable for pen holders, mathematical instruments, brush backs, and spools and pirns for silk textiles. Root used in haemorrhage; root and bark used in amoebic dysentery; bark astringent, anthelmintic, antidontalgic, stomachic, febrifuge, antidropsical, diuretic, used in piles, colic, dyspepsia, chest affections and diseases of the skin and spleen; latex used in eczema and other skin diseases; leaf used in chronic bronchitis, boils, ulcers; flower used in blood diseases; seed aphrodisiac, antibilious, used in flatulence, worm infections, promoting conception and toning up of vaginal tissues after delivery. The well-known Ayurvedic preparations are “Kutajghan Bati”, “Kutajarishta” and “Kutajavleh”. The plant is also used in “Bismuth Kurchi” a well-known preparation for amoebic dysentery.