Wrightia tinctoria

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Local names:
Bengali (kurchi tita-indarjau,dhudi), English (ivory tree,easter tree,pala indigo), Hindi (dhudi,hat,kura,kurchi,kureya,karva-indarjau), Tamil (vepali), Trade name (indrajou,indrajau), Vietnamese (thu'ng mu'c,thu'ng mu'c nhuôm)

Wrightia tinctoria is a small to medium-size deciduous tree, to 18 m tall and to 20 cm dbh with green marks on the stem and producing milky-white resin. The bark is smooth, somewhat corky and pale grey.

Leaves large up to 10 cm long by 5 cm wide, simple, opposite, decussate and glabrous (sometimes puberulous beneath). Young leaves are bluish with reddish nerves.

Flowers white, fragrant, 1-5 cm long, arranged in lax dichasial cymes (5 cm long).

Fruit a green follicle, 0.5 cm in diameter by up to 50 cm long, pendulous pairs and coherent only at the tip.

Seed linear, pointed at the ends, 1.2-1.8 mm long, light yellowish-grey, crowned with a tuft of white silky hairs.

Ecology

It is suitable for arid, semi-arid and moist regions with a wide range of soil types, especially dry sandy sites or hillsides and valleys. It tolerates moderate shading and is often found as undergrowth in deciduous forests.

Native range
Australia, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam

Tree management

W. tinctoria coppices well and also produces root suckers. It’s slow to moderate growing. The saplings start to flower and fruit when they are 5-8 years old. The planted seedling should be protected from livestock browsing

The tree is sensitive to frost and is damaged by drought. It shows tolerance to high uranium levels in soils in India.

There are about 60000 seed/Kg.

It is suitable for arid, semi-arid and moist regions with a wide range of soil types, especially dry sandy sites or hillsides and valleys. It tolerates moderate shading and is often found as undergrowth in deciduous forests.

W. tinctoria propagates well from seed; it also produces root suckers and coppices well. The seedlings are transplanted to the field when they are 15 months old.

 The flowers, leaves, fruits and seeds may be eaten as vegetables after a thorough washing

Fodder: The leaves are lopped for livestock fodder.

Timber: The timber is high in quality, valuable, small, and white. The white wood, which is very fine, is used for turnery, carving, toy making, matchboxes, small boxes and furniture.

Tannin or dyestuff: The leaves, flowers, fruits and roots is a sources of indigo-yielding glucoside, which produces a blue dye or indigo-like dye.

Medicine: The juice from fresh unripe fruits is used for coagulating milk. The seeds are said to be aphrodisiac and anthelminthic. The leaves are used to relieve toothache when chewed with salt. In Nepal, the milky juice is used to stop bleeding. Also the leaves and roots are pounded in water for treatment of fever. The seeds yield deep red, semi-drying oil, which has medicinal value. In Indian traditional medicine, the bark and leaves are used to treat psoriasis, stomach pains, toothache, and dysentery. 

Soil improver: The branches are trampled into the puddle soil in rice field for green manuring.

Intercropping: It’s a good agroforestry species as it intercrop well.