Barun, Three-leaved caper, crataeva nurvala

Barun or Three-leaved caper (crataeva nurvala, family: capparidaceae) is a small to medium-sized water-friendly tree with large number of branches. The tree is found throughout Bangladesh. It is one of the most beautiful trees in Bangladesh, especially when its canopy fills with flowers in the beginning of the summer. It is an Indo-Malay and Tropical African species.


Common names: Three-leaved caper, varun, barun, crataeva, bonna, boinna, pithagola.


Crataeva nurvala reach a height of about 10-15 m. Stems have white spots. It grows easily on marshy land, on the bank of water bodies in Bangladesh. Leaves are clustered at the end of the branchlets, trifoliate, glossy green above, but pale beneath. Leaflets are ovate or lanceolate, 6-15 cm long and 2-6 cm wide.


It blooms during April. Scentless flowers are white with a shade of pink. Petals 4, free; sepals 4. Stamens are long and usually brown. Pedicel 3-5 cm long.


Fruits are ball-shaped, 3-5 cm in diameter; not edible. It becomes red when ripe. 

The tree is well mentioned in ancient Indian medicinal manuscripts. Bark is used in urinal disorders, fever, root in piles and blood contamination. Its leaf is used for inflammation of the arthritis by Lankans. The tree is named after the Indian god Indra.