Parul or Fragrant padri tree, Stereospermum chelonoides

Parul or Fragrant padri tree (Stereospermum chelonoides, family: Bignoniaceae) is a medium or large-sized deciduous tree with branches, attaining a height of 25 m. Young shoots are pubescent. Bark is grey. 

About this flower, a kind of literary madness has been found for a long period of time among the Bengalees. Although it is mentioned numerous times in Bangla literature, the tree is quite difficult to find in Bangladesh. 

The great news is, 5 of its trees are found in the courtyard of Bangladesh Security Printing Press School in Gajipur. India is the original home of the plant.

Leaves are compound, 60 cm long; leaflets are entire, 5-11, deep green, glabrous, petioled, elliptic-oblong, 10-15 cm long and 3-6 cm wide, apex acuminate.

Flowers are sweet-scented, purplish, yellow at center, campunulate, 3-5 cm long, curved at the base and bronze in color, on terminal panicle; corolla tubular with short petals, petals 5. Flower buds are black and deep purple and it is one of the most characteristics of the tree. Fruit is capsule, 25-50 cm cm long and 1.4-2 cm wide, brown or purplish. The plant is propagated by seeds.  

Flowering occurs in the beginning of the summer. The bisexual flowers bloom continuously for about a month. Numerous flowers can be seen at this time with new leaves.  

It is a tree of medicinal quality. Its wood is quite precious. It is mentioned in Sanskrit literature as Patala, Parul, Bashanta-duti, Krishna-brinta, Ali-priya etc.


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