Abroma Augusta – (Devil’s Cotton)

Botanical Name: Sterculiaceae

Syn : Abroma augulata Lam., A. wheeleri Retz., A. fastuosum Gaertn., Theobroma augusta L.

English name: Devil‘s cotton.

Vernacular names: Asm : Bon kopashi; Hin and Ben: Ulat kambal; Tam: Sivapputtutti.

Trade name: Ulat kambal.
Habitat: Widely distributed in hotter parts of India up to 1500 m; Bangladesh, Pakistan and the adjacent countries.
Traditional use: Seed: yields fatty oil, rich in linoleic acid and lowers cholesterol level in blood.

Description:
Abroma augusta, or Devil’s Cotton, is an evergreen tree native from Asia to Australia. They will reach 10 feet (2.5 m) in height with very little spread. The leaves will reach 8 inches (20 cm) across and are 3-5 lobed with very distinct palmate veins. The leaves and stems are covered with soft bristly hairs that are very irritating to the touch. The bark yields a jute-like fiber.

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The leaves have an oblong shap.The seeds are contained in a cotton-like envelope. Dark, maroon flowers are formed in terminal panicles. The leaves and stems are covered with soft, bristly hairs that are extremely irritating to the touch.
Also placed in Malvaceae.

Blooming Time: In the greenhouse, plants bloom from late spring to early summer. Dark maroon flowers are formed in terminal panicles. Individual flowers are up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) across.

Culture: Abroma augusta need full sun to partial shade with a rich well-drained soil mix. In the greenhouse, we use a soil mix consisting of 2 parts peat moss to 1 part loam to 2 parts sand or perlite. Plants are watered, then allowed to dry slightly before watering again. They are fertilized weekly during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer. They are very fast growing, so repotting should be done when they outgrow their containers. Care should be taken when repotting because of the irritating hairs. Wrapping newspaper around the trunk helps to prevent exposure to the hairs. During the winter months, water should be somewhat restricted, but not to a point where the plant loses its leaves.

Propagation:
Abroma augusta is propagated from seed. Seed germinate in 21-30 days at 72° F (24°C). Ecology and cultivation: Plant prefers hot and moist climate; sometimes planted, occasionally found as an escape.

Chemical contents: Plant: fixed oil, a little resinous matter, alkaloid (minute quantity) and water-soluble bases.
Medicinal Uses:
HOMOEOPATHY
: used to control mind, different ailments of head, heart, eyes, ears, nose, face, mouth, throat, stomach, abdomen, urinary organs, male and female sexual organs, respiratory organs, neck, back and limbs, skin diseases, fever; to regulate appetite and sleep.

Modern use: Fresh and dried root-bark: used as uterine tonic and emmenagogue; regulates menstrual flow; Fresh juice from root- bark: useful in congestive and neuralgic forms of dysmenorrhoea, amenorrhoea, urinary trouble, bronchitis, broncho-pneumonia, carbuncles and poisonous boils; Leaf: used in diabetes, rheumatic pain and sinusitis.

Phytography : Shrub, branches downy; leaf simple, cordate, 10-15 cm by 10-12.5 cm, base 3-7 costate, repand-denticulate while the upper narrower leaves are entire, glabrescent above and tomentose below, petiolate, petioles 1.25-2.5 cm long, stipules linear, as long as the petiole, deciduous; flowers axillary, pedunculate, peduncle 3.5 cm long; capsules 5-angled, 5-winged, obpyramidal, thrice as long as the persistent calyx; seeds albuminous, numerous.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://www.plantoftheweek.org/week262.shtml
http://www.bsienvis.org/medi.htm#Holarrhena%20pubescence
http://www.toptropicals.com/cgi-bin/garden_catalog/

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