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Trees of SN College Chempazhanthy:

Muntingia calabura L.

Synonym: Muntingia rosea H. Karst.
Family Elaeocarpaceae
Local Names: Pancharappazham, Bird's cherry, Cotton candy berry

Flowering and fruiting: Throughout the year

Distribution: Cultivated in India, native of Tropical America and West Indies

Habitat: Grown as ornamental plant

Uses: An infusion of the flowers is valued as an antispasmodic. It is taken to relieve headache and the first symptoms of a cold. The pliable bark can be used as rough cordage. A tough, silk-like fibre can be obtained from the bark and is used for lashing supports and making rope. It is also used for basket making. The wood is valued as a source of paper pulp. The wood is soft and is valued mostly as fuel as it ignites quickly, burns with intense heat and gives off very little smoke. It is also used as wood for cooking.

Key Characters: Trees, to 7 m high; branches spreading. Leaves simple, alternate; lamina lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate, margin serrate. Flowers bisexual, white rarely pink; sepals 5, lanceolate, valvate; petals 5, ovate, imbricate; intrastaminal disc annular; stamens many; filaments filiform; ovary superior, ellipsoid, 5-celled, ovules many; styles short; stigmas capitate. Fruit a berry, red or yellow, subglobular; seeds many.