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Department of Botany

Since 1980

Thespesia populnea (L.) Soland. ex Correa



   Botanical NameThespesia populnea (L.) Soland. ex Correa
   SynonymsAzana acuminata .Alef.; Bupariti altissima (Spreng.) Rothm
   Common NameEnglish : Bendy tree, Portia tree / Tamil : Poovarasu
   DistributionGlobal : Northern South America, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Australia, Indian and Pacific Ocean Islands.
Indian: Throughout India.
   DescriptionLarge deciduous tree up to 15 m height, bark dark brown; branchlets densely covered with minute scales. Leaves simple, alternate, stipulate; linear to lanceolate, cauducous, petiole slender, swollen tipped, scaly, lamina ovate, base cordate or truncate, apex acute or acuminate, margin entire, coriaceous, , intercostae venenation. Inflorescence axillary/ terminal solitary or cyme. Flowers pentamerous, bisexual, yellow, showy, bracts oblong-lanceolate, acute, cauducous, calyx minutely 5 toothed, accrescent and flattened in fruit, scaly outside, densely serious inside, corolla light yellow with dark purple in centre, fading to purplish-pink, broadly campanulate, petals 5, obliquely obovate, narrowed and fleshy at base, rounded at apex, densely scaly outside, twisted. Stamens many, staminal tube 15-25 mm long, 5-toothed at apex, filaments ascending; anthers reniform. Ovary superior, globose to ovoid, pentacarpellary, ovules 2-3 in each cell; style 3 cm long; stigma club shaped, 5-furrowed. Fruit a capsule, globose, indehiscent, depressed. Seeds many, ovoid, channelled along the back, pubescent.
   Flowering Fruiting periodThroughout the year
   UsesWind break, Live fence, green manure, timber, and dyeing
   Medicinal UsesUseful medicinal properties, such as antifertility, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, purgative and hepatoprotective activity.
   Tamil NamePoovarasu