Plant Name Wrightia tinctoria
Common name: Sweet Indrajao, Pala indigo plant, Dyers’s oleander
Marathi: Kala kuda
English: Ivory wood, Sweet Indrajao
Jawhar: Kala kuda
ivory colour, scally and smooth
simple, opposite, distichous, estipulate, apex acuminate, entire margin (idianbiodiversity portal).
bisexual, whitish inflorescence with fragrance, scattered, seen at the tip of branches, appears like snowflake from the distance.
pendulous, long and slender, paired follicles, joint at the tip. Seeds are hairy and are released when fruit dehisces
Habit / Habitat
Small deciduous tree
Wrightia tinctoria is a plant of arid, semi-arid and moist regions in the tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,200 metres. It is found in areas where the mean annual rainfall is within the range 400 - 2,500mm, and the mean temperature range 17 - 25°c. Plants are intolerant of frost.
The plant tolerates moderate shading and is often found as undergrowth in deciduous forests. Succeeds in a wide range of soil types, especially dry sandy sites or hillsides and valleys, and also tolerates high uranium levels in the soil. Plants are intolerant of drought.
A slow to moderate-growing plant.
It is native to India and Burma.
Used by tribal community in Jawhar: Flowers
Method of consumption
Jawhar tribal: Flowers are boiled and cooked with onion, garlic and local masala
Nutritional and medicinal information
Nutritional parameters of the leaf extract
Parameters Composition (%)
Crude fat 1.93+/-0.15
Crude fibre 5.60+/-0.02
Nutritive value 297.66+/-1.10
- The bark of Wrightia tinctoria was investigated for anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan- induced rat paw oedema and cotton pellet induced granuloma method. (Thakar.et.al, 2010)
- The fruit extract of W. tinctora indicated that it possess significant anti – diabetic activity in alloxan induced diabetic rats.(Rani et al, 2012)
- Wrightia tinctoria showed promising activity against dermatophytic and non-dermatophytic fungi (Ponnusamy et al, 2010)
- antibacterial activity of different extracts (Chloroform, ethanol and methanol) of Wrightia tinctoria showed a potential antibacterial properties against the human pathogenic bacterial strains, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa by disc diffusion method on agar. (Vedhanarayanan et al, 2013)
Propagation and Storage
Season of collection
Summer – March to May
How to grow it?
In wild, seeds are dispersed by wind due to its hairy structure. While cultivation, seeds are soaked overnight in cold water .
Method of storage
Edibles: flowers are perishable and hence eaten immediately after harvest.
1) In Siddha system of medicine, crushed fresh leaves are known to be used for psoriasis and other skin diseases.
2) In South India the plant is used in the rice fields as a green manure
3) In Nepal, sap of the plant is used to stop bleeding.
4) Wrightia tinctoria are folklore medicines extensively used in the treatment of ringworm infections and skin related diseases in Tamil Nadu, India.