Lagerstroemia speciosa

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Lagerstroemia speciosa
Flowers on a tree in Kolkata, West Bengal, India, where it is locally called Jarul.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Myrtales
Family: Lythraceae
Genus: Lagerstroemia
Species: L. speciosa
Binomial name
Lagerstroemia speciosa
(L.) Pers.
  • Adambea glabra Lam.
  • Lagerstroemia augusta Wall. nom. inval.
  • Lagerstroemia flos-reginae Retz.
  • Lagerstroemia macrocarpa Wall. nom. inval.
  • Lagerstroemia major Retz.
  • Lagerstroemia munchausia Willd.
  • Lagerstroemia plicifolia Stokes
  • Lagerstroemia reginae Roxb.
  • Munchausia speciosa L.

Lagerstroemia speciosa (giant crape-myrtle, Queen's crape-myrtle, banabá plant for Philippines, or Pride of India[2]) is a species of Lagerstroemia native to tropical southern Asia.

Native Legends and Names[edit]

The genus Lagerstroemia was first described by Carl Linnaeus. The name Lagerstroemia recognizes Magnus von Lagerstroem, a Swedish naturalist who provided specimens from the East for Linnaeus.


It is a small to medium-sized tree growing to 20 metres (66 ft) tall, with smooth, flaky bark. The leaves are deciduous, oval to elliptic, 8–15 cm (3.1–5.9 in) long and 3–7 cm (1.2–2.8 in) broad, with an acute apex. The flowers are produced in erect panicles 20–40 cm (7.9–15.7 in) long, each flower with six white to purple petals 2–3.5 cm (0.79–1.38 in) long. The flowers in this plant blooms only once in a year at the peak of summer.

Cultivation and uses[edit]

It is grown in South East Asia, India and the Philippines. It is also widely cultivated as an ornamental plant in tropical and subtropical areas. The leaves of the banabá and other parts are used widely in the Philippines, Taiwan, and Japan as a tea preparation. Banabá herb is one of the 69 herbal plants promoted by the Philippine Department of Health (DOH).[3]


Chemical compounds that have been isolated from the extract include corosolic acid, lager-stroemin, flosin B, and reginin A.[citation needed]

In Buddhism[edit]

In Theravada Buddhism, this plant is said to have been used as the tree for achieved enlightenment, or Bodhi by the eleventh Lord Buddha ("Paduma - පදුම"), and the twelfth Lord Buddha ("Naarada - නාරද") . The plant is known as මුරුත (Murutha) in Sinhala and "Mahaasona - මහාසොණ" in Sanskrit.



  1. ^ Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers. — The Plant List
  2. ^ "Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers. pride of India." PLANTS Profile, United States Department of Agriculture / Natural Resources Conservation Service. Retrieved 2008-07-15.
  3. ^ Eduardo B. Principe and Aurora S. Jose (2002). "Propagation Management Of Herbal and Medicinal Plants" (PDF). Research Information Series On Ecosystems. Retrieved 25 January 2013. [dead link]
  • Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening 3: 10.
  • P. Campagna. Farmaci vegetali. Minerva Medica ed. Torino 2008

External links[edit]