Polash, Flame of the Forest, Butea monosperma

Polash or Flame of the Forest (Butea monosperma, family : Fabaceae) is a medium-sized (12-14 m) flowering tree reaching 9-15 m height. Trunk is crooked, young shoot downy tomentose. Sanskrit name of the plant is Kingshuk.


Leaves are compound, trifoliate, long petioled; leaflets leathery, turning glabrous with age, terminal leaflet obovate, 12-20 cm long and 12-16 cm wide. Flowers are big, velvety, orange scarlet or orange, borne on 10-15 cm long inflorescence. Sepals 5, petals 5. The keel petals are united to form a beak. Flowers bloom in February. When spring comes the whole tree is filled with fire-colored flowers. This is why the flowering tree is called the Flame of the Forest. These unique flowers only lasts for two weeks.


Fruit is capsule, 10-15 cm long and 3-4 cm wide, brown when mature. Propagation of the plant is caused by seed. 


The beautiful tree is grown in big gardens and in roadsides. It is found in the Sal-Ban of Bangladesh. Seeds are used to control tape worm and round worm. The plant is used in urinal problem, piles, bloody catamenia and burning sensation in body.

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