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Gardening: The tree may be propagated from seeds or cuttings. The seeds should be sown as soon as they ripen, preferably in pots in fine mould mixed with powdered brick or charcoal. Large cuttings should be put down at the commencement of the monsoon. Uses: The juice of the Banyan yields an inferior rubber; it is also converted into birdlime; and is used in medicine being applied externally for pains and bruises and for rheumatism. An infusion of the bark is regarded as a powerful tonic in the treatment of diabetes.

Description: A small tree reaching 20 to 30 ft. high with a crown of stiff leathery leaves. Leaves 4 to 12 in. long by 2 to 6 in. wide, oppositely arranged, ovate, oblong, tip acute or suddenly acuminate, base rounded or cordate, the surfaces are like coarse sand-paper to the touch (hispid). 5 to 1 in. across, pear-shaped, ribbed, in pairs in the axils of the leaves or arranged in bunches along the branches, stem, and even along the exposed roots, and sometimes pushing their ways through the soil from deeper roots.

A mouth-wash and a gargle are prepared from the flowers and also from the fruits. The fruit when ripe is eaten. It contains a small quantity of sweet pulp. A preserve is also prepared from the fruit. The oil from the seeds is used for cooking. The wood is good, and is used in building and for carts and cabinet work. Note: The trees flower sporadically from July to December, but the general period appears to be about November to December. 37. DARBELA Wrightia tomentosa Roem. & Schult. (Order: Apocynaceae).

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100 beautiful trees of India: A descriptive and pictorial handbook by Charles McCann


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