(Last Updated on : 04/07/2013)
Indian temple Tree is named as 'Plumeria rubra' in science is a perfect example of what is called copious beauty. This tree derived from the 'Apocynaceae' family. In Hindi, it is called as 'Gulachin', 'Gobur champ', 'Chameli' or 'Golanchi'. The Bengali people know it as 'Dalana Phul' or 'Gorurchampa'. It's called as 'Llattelari', 'Kallimandarai' and 'Perungalli' in Tamil. The Telugu people named it as 'Arhataganneru' or 'Nuruvarahalu'. Singhalese know it as 'Avariya'. The English people call it as 'Jasmine Tree' or 'Dead Man's Flower' or 'Life Tree' or 'Frangipani' or 'Crimson Temple Tree' or 'Pagoda Tree'.
Description of Indian Temple Tree
Indian Temple Tree is possibly the most recognizable and broadly grown amongst all the trees that can be found in India. These trees have some very sweet-scented exotic flowers. The flowers remain in these trees for almost throughout the year. Because of its amazing power of producing leaves and flowers even after being lifted from the soil, both the Buddhists and Mohammedans think the tree as a symbol of immortality. It is repeatedly planted near temples and in graveyards only for this very much uncommon reason. The Hindus also use the flowers in worship and to dedicated offerings to their Gods. Indian Temple Tree is a low and spreading tree with large plants. It rarely attains more than 6 m. in height. From the month of December till the rainy season, the tree remains leafless. Though very rare, but sometimes it becomes flowerless as well. These things only happen to the old trees. The young trees never loose their flowers or leaves and remain at the top of their beauty throughout the year.
If someone injures any part of the tree, then a white, latex-like juice flows from that part. In Sanskrit, this characteristic is called as 'Kashira-champa
' that means "milky champa". From the end of the branch graceful and rose-tinted stalks arise that are fleshy but fragile. Each and every funnel-shaped flower of the tree grows up to 5 cm across. The flowers have five overlapping petals each. They are generally oval with one margin curled under. The stamens are deeply inserted in the corollary tube and hence not quite visible clearly. The leaves of the Temple Tree are unique. They are normally about 30 cm in length and also smooth and narrow.
Uses of Indian Temple Tree
It has a numerous usage. To counter irritant for rheumatism, people use the milky sap. In conjunction with sandalwood oil and camphor this milky sap is also a cure for itch. People of different parts of the world also use the bark of this tree to relieve fever, heal sores and to make plaster in order to reduce tumours. If heated, the leaves of the tree can relieve puffiness; and getting together with the flower buds, they can make a febrifuge also. The tree doesn't have much timber value, as it is very small. Some people can think that the tree is Chinese specie judging from some of its local names. As an example, we can say that 'Gulachin' means "flowers of China". The tree is in fact a native of Jamaica, Mexico and Ecuador. The 17th Century French botanist Charles Plumier gave the tree's generic name.
'Plumeria Kubra' is also called as the Red Frangipani and Red Jasmine. This is a smaller tree that has leaves not more than 22.5 cm long. The red flowers have glowing yellow centres. They also have an exhilarating perfume. 'Plumeria Alba', another specie of the Indian Temple Tree, is a native of the West Indies. It has yellow-eyed white flowers and long leaves that do not have the typical marginal vein. The 'Plumeria Obtusa' is such an evergreen species that has large and dark leaves. These leaves are blunt ended and also have margins tending to roll under. The pure white flowers of these trees are much larger than any of the other species described and are less funnel-shaped.