Botanical Name :Millingtonia hortensis
Species: M. hortensis
Common Names:Tree Jasmine or Indian Cork Tree.It is known as Akash Mallige in Kannada, Akash Malli or Mara Malli in Tamil, Kavuki in Telugu, Pip in Thai: and Mini Chameli in Hindi, Akash Mallee in Oriya and Akash Neem in bengal.
Habitat :Millingtonia hortensis is a tree native to South East Asia.
The tree grows to height of between 18 to 25 metres and has a spread of 7 to 11 metres. It reaches maturity between 6 to 8 years of age and lives for up to 40 years. It is a versatile tree which can grow in various soil types and climates with a preference for moist climates.
Stem:The tree is evergreen and has an elongated pyramidal stem. The soft, yellowish-white wood is brittle and can break under strong gusts of wind.
Flower: The tree flowers twice a year and the white flowers come as large panicles which emit a pleasant fragrance. They are bisexual and zygomorphic. The bell-shaped sepals of the flower have five small lobes. The flower has four stamens with parallel anthers unlike in most other plants of this family where the anthers are divergent. The corolla is a long tube with five lobes.
Fruit and seed : The fruit is a smooth flat capsule and is partitioned into two. It contains broad-winged seeds. The fruits are fed on by birds which aid in seed dispersal. In cultivation, the viability of seeds is low unless they are sown immediately after the fruit ripens, so the plant is generally propagated through cuttings.
Dried flower: smoke for treatment of asthma. Root: lung tonic, antiasthmatic; volatile active constituent hispidulin, exhibits better bronchodilatic effect than aminophylline. No toxicity found.
Antifungal activities of different extracts of Millingtonia hortensis were investigated against various fungal pathogens. Methanol extract was found to have stronger activity than fluconazole against yeast like fungi: 4 fold against Candida krusei with 4 µg/ml minimal inhibitory concentration and 2 fold (MIC- 2 µg/ml) against Sacharomyces cerevisiae , though it showed the same activity as fluconazole against Candida glabrata . Aqueous extract also exhibited 4 fold stronger activity against Candida krusei (MIC- 4 µg/ml) and 4 fold (MIC; 2 µg/ml) against Sacharomyces cerevisiae . Chloroform and ethyl acetate extract showed lower activities against all fungal pathogens except for Candida krusei, compared with the standard. Against the filamentous fungus, Trichosporon cutaneum , all extracts showed less activity than the standard.
The tree is considered ornamental and the pleasant fragrance of the flowers renders it ideal as a garden tree. The wood is also used as timber and the bark is used as an inferior substitute for cork. The leaves are also used as a cheap substitute for tobacco in cigarettes.Its flowers are used in the rituals. Its bark is used to produce yellow dye.
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