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A medium-sized tree (15m/3.8m high) that sheds its leaves annually.


How does it look:

A medium-sized tree (15m/3.8m high) that sheds its leaves annually. Stem is somewhat crooked and the bark is bluish-gray or light brown in colour.

Silvicultural Characters:

Withstands fair amount of shade. Is drought-resistant and frost-hardy. Produces root-suckers. Coppices and pollards well. Seedlings several times die back and recover. Immune to grazing and recovers from constant lopping and injury. Fleshy taproots are readily devoured by rats, pigs and porcupines, and young plants need protection.

How to grow:

Seeds germinate in rains; and where moisture is plentiful, profuse reproduction occurs from seeds and suckers.

In nursery direct sowing is more successful than transplanting; planted in irrigated and un-irrigated lines, 20-30cm apart; for ordinary afforestation 3.0-3.6cm spacing given; for cultivation of lac, 6m x 6m spacing given. Seedlings are raised at 10cm x 10cm in beds and transplanted during the rains after pruning; stumps also can be planted. Many field-crops are mixed with this plant.


  • For reclamation and afforestation of inundated, badly drained, waterlogged, saline, alkaline and barren lands; and arid and semi-arid regions where most trees do not grow. Grown under agro-and social forestry.

  • Grown for lac-insect as a host.

  • Timber used for well-curbs, waters-coops, rough packing-cases, cheap boards; and paper-pulp.

  • Fuel : Moderate fuel (4925kcal/kg); yields a charcoal which possesses de-colouring proper and can be used for purification.

  • Fodder :Leaf (crude protein, 14.79%) lopped for feeding buffaloes.

  • Others

Stem bark :Astringent, bitter, anthelmintic; useful in tumours, bleeding-piles and ulcers; alcoholic extracts have antibacterial activity. Yields a juice, called Kino or Butea gum, substituted for genuine kino; applied to ulcers and in sore throat.

Leaf :Used for platters, cups, native umbrellas and for wrapping.

Root :Useful in night-blindness. Yields a coarse fibre.

Flower :Astringent, diuretic, aphrodisiac; used as poultice for bruises and sprains; decoction given in diarrhoea; yeilds a brilliant, but very fugitive, yellow dye.

Where to sell:

  • Wood can be sold to timber merchants and for firewood.

  • Bark and flowers can be sold to pharmaceutical companies for medicinal preparations.

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