Plant Name: Lagerstromia parviflora Roxb.
Hindi: Bakli, Sida
English: Small-flowered Crape Myrtle
Interesting facts and history
The leaves of L. parviflora are fed on by the Antheraea paphia moth which produces the tassar silk, a form of wild silk of commercial importance in India.
About 15 m height
Bark dark brown or greyish-black, vertically furrrowed, exfoliating in long, thin flakes; blaze dull yellow.
Leaves simple, opposite; stipules intrapetiolar, deciduous; petiole to 5 mm long, slender, glabrous; lamina 3.5-7.5 x 2-3 cm, elliptic, obovate-elliptic or oblong, base round or acute, apex acute, acuminate or obtuse-retuse, margin entire, glabrous or shortly pubescent beneath, coriaceous; lateral nerves 6-8 pairs, pinnate, slender, prominent; intercostae reticulate, prominent.
Flowers bisexual, 2 mm across, white, fragrant, in lax axillary panicles; calyx tube 7 mm, campanulate, with a ring inside, smooth without; lobes 6, to 3 mm, appressed to the capsule in fruit; petals approx. 6 mm, ovate-suborbicular; claw 4 mm; stamens many, inserted near the base of the calyx tube, exerted; filaments to 1 cm; anthers 0.5 mm; ovary 2.5 mm, half inferior, sessile, glabrous, 4-6-celled, ovules many; style to 1 cm, curved; stigma capitate.
Fruit a capsule, 3 x 1.5 cm, 3-4 valved, ovoid, brown; seeds many; wing terminal with a thick curved back
Habit / Habitat
It is usually found in Moist and Dry Deciduous Forests, but also occasionally on hills above 500m in the deciduous belt in full sun
1) Availability of the plant species in India: Western and Eastern Ghats
2) Global distribution: Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, northern Australia, and parts of Oceania.
World wide use Leaves, Edible gum
Used by tribal community in Jawhar Leaves
Method of consumption
Tender leaves mixed with other wild vegetable (especially with Dioscorea sp.) and cooked to remove itchiness after taste.
Nutritional and medicinal information
- The benzene extract of the leaves of Lagerstroemia paviflora Roxb was tested for its Minimum Inhibitory Concentration (MIC) against Gram Positive and gram negative strains and compared with those produced by the standard antibiotic Ciprofloxacin. The crude extract was found to be active against gram negative bacteria even at at lower concentrations and at par with Ciprofloxacin. .
- The methanol extract of the leaves of Lagerstroemia parviﬂora Roxb exhibited signiﬁcant antitussive activity on a cough model induced by sulphur dioxide gas in mice. The extract was being tested with the control in a dose-dependent manner. The extract at 100, 200, 300 mg/kg, showed maximum inhibition of cough reﬂex at 90 min after drug administration.
The activity was also compared with a standard antitussive agent
Harvesting and preserving
Leaves can be directly harvested from wild.
Season of collection:
Fruiting from June onwards
How to grow it?
It can be grown through seeds and stem cuttings propagation.
Method of storage: Seeds for cultivation.
- It is also used worldwide for its timber. The wood of the tree is very hard and durable. Usually it is used for general carpentry like house posts, beams, rafters, door, window frame, carts and agricultural implement.
- The bark is a source of tannins and used as black dye.
- It is also an excellent fuel tree as it gives a good charcoal.
- An edible gum is obtained from the tree, which is sweet flavour