Millingtonia hortensis, tree jasmine or Indian cork tree, the sole species in the genus Millingtonia, is a tree native to South Asia & South East Asia. It is known as Latak chandani, & Buch in Marathi Akash Mallige in Kannada:ಆಕಾಶ ಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆ, Akash Malli or Mara Malli in Tamil, Kavuki in Telugu, Pip in Thai: ปีบ and Mini Chameli and Akash in Hindi Shavam naari pooh in Malayalam, ଆକାଶ ମଲ୍ଲି, Akasha Malli in Odia and Sitahaar in Bengali .
In the name Millingtonia hortensis, Millingtonia is named for Sir Thomas Millington who was an inspiration to Carl Linnaeus the Younger who first described the genus. The specific epithet 'hortensia' derives from 'hortensis' and 'hortus' which in Latin is related to garden. In its synonym, Bignonia suberosa, 'suberosa' derives from 'suberos' which means 'corky' in Latin.
The tree grows to height of between 18 and 25 metres and has a spread of 7 to 11 metres. It reaches maturity between 6 and 8 years of age and lives for up to 40 years. It is a versatile tree which can grow in various soil types and climates with a preference for moist climates.
The tree is evergreen and has an elongated pyramidal stem. The soft, yellowish-white wood is brittle and can break under strong gusts of wind.
The white flowers come as large panicles which emit a pleasant fragrance. They are bisexual and zygomorphic. The bell-shaped sepals of the flower have five small lobes. The flower has four stamens with parallel anthers unlike in most other plants of this family where the anthers are divergent. The corolla is a long tube with five lobes.
Fruit and seed
The fruit is a smooth flat capsule and is partitioned into two. It contains broad-winged seeds. The fruits are fed on by birds which aid in seed dispersal. In cultivation, the viability of seeds is low unless they are sown immediately after the fruit ripens, so the plant is generally propagated through cuttings.
The tree is considered ornamental and the pleasant fragrance of the flowers renders it ideal as a garden tree. The wood is also used as timber and the bark is used as an inferior substitute for cork. The leaves are also used as a cheap substitute for tobacco in cigarettes.
Views of different aspects
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- Lindley, John; Moore, Thomas (1866). The Treasury of Botany. Longmans, Green & Co. p. 1260. Retrieved 1 May 2011.
- Dey, S.C. (1996). Fragrant flowers for homes and gardens, trade and industry. Abhinav Publications. p. 71. ISBN 978-81-7017-335-9. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
- Wad, William (1827). Mems. maxims, and memoirs. Callow and Wilson. p. 219. ISBN 978-81-7017-335-9. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
- Arvind, Krishan (2001). Climate responsive architecture: a design handbook for energy efficient buildings. Tata Mcgraw-Hill. p. 399. ISBN 978-0-07-463218-5. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
- Flowering trees. New Delhi: New India Pub. Agency. 2008. p. 288. ISBN 978-81-89422-50-9. Retrieved 30 April 2011.
|last1=in Authors list (help)
- Ananthakrishnan, T.N. (2004). General and applied entomology. Tata Mcgraw-Hill. p. 795. ISBN 978-0-07-043435-6. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
- Sharma, O.P. (1993). Plant Taxonomy. Tata Mcgraw-Hill. p. 353. ISBN 978-0-07-460373-4. Retrieved April 30, 2011.
- Mansfeld's Encyclopedia of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops. Springer. 2001. p. 3645. ISBN 978-3-540-41017-1. Retrieved 30 April 2011.