|Quassia simaruba L.f.
|Lakshmitharu, Paradise tree
Flowering and fruiting: January - May
Distribution: Native of America
Habitat: Grown in homesteads and as avenue tree
Uses: Leaves and bark have a long history of medicinal use in the tropics, particularly in the treatment of malaria, fevers and dysentery. Bark decoction is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, malaria, fevers, haemorrhages, intestinal parasites and colitis. Oil obtained from the seed can be used for industrial purposes in the manufacture of bio-fuels, soaps, detergents, lubricants, varnishes, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals. The wood is used for interior construction, boxes and crates, furniture components, veneer and plywood, pattern making, millwork, particleboard and fibreboard. The wood is used for fuel, especially because it burns readily when still green and freshly cut.
Key Characters: Tree growing to a height of 35 m. It has compound leaves with 9-16 leaflets. The flowers occur on staminate panicle, which is widely branched and densely covered bin flowers. The flowers are unisexual and pale yellow in clour. Fruits form between 1 and 3 months after pollination occurs. The fruits are a drupe, brightly colored green to purplish-black and contain large seeds.