Xylia xylocarpa Roxb.

Xylia xylocarpa Roxb. (MIMOSACEAE)
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Common names
Kannada: Jambe.
Tulu: Chiruve.
Malayalam: Irumalla.
Tamil: Irul.
Telugu: Konda tangedu.
English: Burma iron wood.

Description:  Large deciduous trees, 15-20 m tall with reddish-grey rough bark. Leaves bipinnate, pinnae 2; petiole 2.5-6.0 cm long with gland at the tip; pinnae 10-15 cm long; leaflets 3-5 pairs, often with an unopposed leaflet below the lowest pair, oblong-lanceolate or elliptic-lanceolate, 7-15 x 3-6 cm, rounded or acute at base, acute at apex, subcoriaceous, glabrous; petiolules ca 0.3 cm long. Flowers sessile, white, in globose peduncled heads, the peduncles axillary, fascicled or racemose. Calyx tubular-campanulate, 5-lobed. Petals 5, valvate, yellowish-white. Stamens 10, free; anthers tipped with stalked, deciduous gland. Ovary sessile; ovules many. Fruit a large,woody pod, falcate,  ca 16 x 4.5 cm, flat, rusty tomentose. Seeds 6-10, oblong-ellipsoid, ca 1.5 x 1 cm, compressed, brown, smooth, polished.

Flowering : March – May.
Fruiting : May – January.

Distribution: India: Western Peninsula. N. Circars, Deccan, W.Ghats. Indomalesia.

Uses: Wood reddish brown, hard, durable and useful for sleeper and building purposes, but difficult to work. It is known as Burma iron wood. It is a favourite timber for the construction of boats, canoes etc. and in ship building as knees, crooks and keels. Widely used in the manufacture of carts, tool handles, ploughs, harrows, oil-presses, yokes, pit-props in coal mines, curbs of wells, wheels, sides of ladder, brake blocks for engines, paving blocks, electric poles, bridge construction etc. A very good fuel wood. The charcoal from the wood is highly prized by iron smelters. Wood is fibrous and provides raw material for paper-pulp suitable for making wrapping paper. Bark anthelmintic, emetic, given in gonorrhoea, diarrhoea, ulcers, also used to stop vomiting; bark and seed oil antileprotic; seed oil used in rheumatism and piles.

  • Xylia xylocarpa Roxb. (MIMOSACEAE)