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Plant Name        Wrightia tinctoria           

                Common name:   Sweet Indrajao, Pala indigo plant, Dyers’s oleander

                Marathi:               Kala kuda           

                Hindi:                     Duhi    

                English:                  Ivory wood, Sweet Indrajao     

                Jawhar:                  Kala kuda          


Identification guide


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.                  


Edible parts

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

Nutritive Significance:

Nutritional parameters of the leaf extract

Parameters Composition (%)

Ash 2.62+/-0.01

Moisture 38.66+/-0.57

Crude fat 1.93+/-0.15

Protein 0.56+/-0.05

Carbohydrate 60.42+/-0.05

Crude fibre 5.60+/-0.02

Nutritive value 297.66+/-1.10

 Pharmaceutical significance

  1. The bark of Wrightia tinctoria was investigated for anti-inflammatory activity by carrageenan- induced rat paw oedema and cotton pellet induced granuloma method. (, 2010)
  2. The fruit extract of W. tinctora indicated that it possess significant anti – diabetic activity in alloxan induced diabetic rats.(Rani et al, 2012)
  3. Wrightia tinctoria showed promising activity against dermatophytic and non-dermatophytic fungi (Ponnusamy et al, 2010)
  4. 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

Propagules: seeds

Edibles: flowers are perishable and hence eaten immediately after harvest.


Other uses

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.



Kingdom:            Plantae

Division:              Spermatophyta

Sub-division:     Angiospermae

Class:                    Dicotyledonae

Sub-class:            Gamopetalae

Series:                  Bicarpellatae

Order:                   Gentianales

Family:                 Apocynaceae

Genus:                    Wrightia

Species:               tinctoria





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