Traditional uses and benefits of Mangrove Trumpet Tree

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Mangrove trumpet tree Quick Facts
Name: Mangrove trumpet tree
Scientific Name: Dolichandrone spathacea
Origin Southeast Asia, South India, and Sri Lanka to New Caledonia
Colors Green at first, turning brown as they mature
Shapes Long, flattened, curling bean-like pods that are 25-60 cm long, 2 to 2.5 centimeters thick and contain many see
Health benefits Support oral thrush, bronchitis, gastrointestinal diseases, asthma, vomiting, inflammation, diarrhea, chlorosis, cholera, diuresis and hematemesis
Dolichandrone spathacea, popularly known as tui or mangrove trumpet tree is a species of plant in the Bignoniaceae (Trumpet-creeper family). The plant is native to Southeast Asia, South India, and Sri Lanka to New Caledonia. Apart from mangrove trumpet tree it is also known as Tui and Singapore mangrove. The scientific name derives from the Greek words dolichos meaning long, and andron meaning male and referring to the long stamens of the flowers, and spathe meaning broad leaf blade. The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of wood. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, valued especially for its fragrant, showy flowers. Although Dolichandrone spathacea is widespread, it is uncommon in many parts of its range. It is threatened by the loss of mangrove habitat throughout its range, primarily due to extraction and coastal development.

Mangrove trumpet Tree Facts

Name Mangrove trumpet tree
Scientific Name Dolichandrone spathacea
Native Southeast Asia, South India, and Sri Lanka to New Caledonia
Common Names Mangrove trumpet tree, Singapore mangrove, Tui
Name in Other Languages Bangla: Gaṛaśiṅgā (গড়শিঙ্গা)
English:  Mangrove trumpet tree, Singapore mangrove
French:  Bignone de Malaysie
Hungarian:  Lóhúsfa
Kannada: Arkuvoddi
Malay:   Kaju, Kaju pelok, Kaju pelumping, Poko kulo
Malayalam:  Neerpongilium, neerpongiliyam, nirpongilium
Marathi:  Samudrashingi
Myanmar: Tha khut ma, Hnin gut, Tha khut
Philippines: Pata, tangas, tanghas, tivi, tiwi, tue, tui, tuwi
Russian:  Bignoniia dlinneyshaia (Бигнония длиннейшая)
Sinhalese:  Diya danga (දිය දග)
Sri Lankan: Diyadanga
Tagalog: Tiwi, Tua, Tui
Tamil:  Kaliyacca, Mankulanchi, Pannir,Vilpadri, attukkompoti, attukkompotiyai, kanbillai, kanpilaicceti
Thai:  Khaena (แคนา),  Khaepa (แค ป่า), Khaena, Khæ thale  (แคทะเล)
Vietnamese: Quao, Quao nước
Visayan: Tanghas, Tanhas
Plant Growth Habit Attractive, evergreen tree
Growing Climates Undisturbed lowland forest, secondary formations, mangroves, along tidal streams, along rivers, in swamps, occasionally also in the sandy soils of keranga forest
Soil Usually found on sandy to muddy soils in the wild, rarely on limestone, but in cultivation it tolerates a wide range of soils. Although its natural habitat is swamps, it can adapt to drier sites. Plants are tolerant of salt-laden winds. It can also tolerate waterlogged soil that is freshwater or brackish
Plant Size Up to 20 meters tall with a bole up to 40 cm in diameter
Trunk Cylindrical, short and often crooked
Bark Grey to dark brown, shallowly ridged and fissured, slightly scaly
Leaf Leaves are compound, opposite to sub-opposite, usually imparinnate, 30 to 40 centimeters long with 9–11 leaflets and petiole up to 8 cm long, lenticels prominent, petioles and rachis furrowed on upper surface. Leaflets are opposite, lanceolate to ovate lanceolate, membraneous, terminal leaflet 10–17 cm long and 4–5 cm wide
Flower Flowers are borne on short, terminal, few-flowered racemes in clusters of 2-10 flowers. The flowers in the cluster bloom one at a time and are very fragrant. Calyx is 4 to 5 centimeters long, spathe like, and split down one side to the base. Corolla is fragrant, white, with a rather slender, cylindrical tube 15-20 centimeters long with ruffled edges, becoming funnel-shaped or bell-shaped above, 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter
Fruit Shape & Size Long, flattened, curling bean-like pods that are 25-60 cm long, 2 to 2.5 centimeters thick and contain many seeds
Fruit Color Green at first, turning brown as they mature
Seed Pale white to dark grey, small about 12–19 mm long and 6–9 mm wide, rectangular to square, with a corky wing
Plant Parts Used Bark, leaves, seeds
Propagation By seed
Culinary Uses
  • Young flowers are cooked and eaten as a vegetable.
  • Young fruits are cooked and eaten as a vegetable.

Plant Description

Mangrove trumpet tree is an attractive, evergreen tree that normally grows up to 20 meters tall with a bole up to 40 cm in diameter. Old trees have massive trunks that are fluted at the base. Trunk is cylindrical, short and often crooked. Bark is grey to dark brown, shallowly ridged and fissured, slightly scaly. The plant is found growing in undisturbed lowland forest, secondary formations, mangroves, along tidal streams, along rivers, in swamps, occasionally also in the sandy soils of keranga forest. It is usually found on sandy to muddy soils in the wild, rarely on limestone, but in cultivation it tolerates a wide range of soils. Although its natural habitat is swamps, it can adapt to drier sites. Plants are tolerant of salt-laden winds. It can also tolerate waterlogged soil that is freshwater or brackish.

Leaves

Leaves are compound, opposite to sub-opposite, usually imparinnate, 30 to 40 centimeters long with 9–11 leaflets and petiole up to 8 cm long, lenticels prominent, petioles and rachis furrowed on upper surface. Leaflets are opposite, lanceolate to ovate lanceolate, membraneous, terminal leaflet 10–17 cm long and 4–5 cm wide, laterals are smaller, base asymmetrical, apex acuminate, midrib depressed on adaxial surface, peltate scales present on both surfaces when young, 0–5 extra-floral nectaries on abaxial surfaces, occasional on adaxial, domatia present as hair tufts. Young leaves are slightly pinkish and somewhat sticky. At times the tree may be nearly leafless.

Flower

The plant produces bisexual flowers that develop on flowering shoots. Flowers are borne on short, terminal, few-flowered racemes in clusters of 2-10 flowers. The flowers in the cluster bloom one at a time and are very fragrant. Calyx is 4 to 5 centimeters long, spathe like, and split down one side to the base. Corolla is fragrant, white, with a rather slender, cylindrical tube 15-20 centimeters long with ruffled edges, becoming funnel-shaped or bell-shaped above, 5 to 7 centimeters in diameter. The flower is composed of a long thin tube that expands near the opening and spreads abruptly into 5 rounded lobes with frilly edges.

The flowers in the cluster bloom one at a time and according to Corners “very fragrant” while Tomlinson describes it as “a pervasive scent”. According to Hsuan Keng, the flower opens in the early morning and closes at noon, but according to Corners, it blooms at dusk and the flower drops off at sunrise or earlier, while Tomlinson says they bloom in the early evening and the flower usually lasts for only one day. According to Tomlinson, nectar accumulates copiously at the base of the trumpet tube. Suggestions for pollinators include very long-tongued moths (Corners); long-tongued ‘nocturnal animals’ probably hawk moths (Tomlinson). Apparently, no pollinators have been observed so far. Self-pollination also occurs.

Fruit

Fertile flowers are followed by long, flattened, curling bean-like pods that are 25-60 cm long, 2 to 2.5 centimeters thick and contain many seeds. The pods are green at first, turning brown as they mature. The seeds resemble small rectangular wheat biscuits; they are pale white to dark grey, small about 12–19 mm long and 6–9 mm wide, rectangular to square, with a corky wing. They float readily and are probably dispersed by water and not wind.

Traditional uses and benefits of Mangrove trumpet tree

  • In Southeast Asia, the leaves and barks of the Mangrove trumpet tree are used as traditional herbal medicine which is used to treat bacterial infections such as oral thrush, bronchitis, and gastrointestinal diseases.
  • Leaves are used in the treatment of thrush.
  • Seeds, combined with ginger and Pavetta root are administered in spasmodic affections.
  • Tea prepared from the leaves is thought to cure mouth related diseases and infections.
  • Its seeds are given with ginger in cases of convulsive affections.
  • In the Philippines, poultice of fresh leaves and bark is applied against flatulence to women after childbirth.
  • Seeds are powdered, and taken for nervous complaints.
  • In Java, leaves are used for making mouthwash.
  • Leaf decoction is used for various infections of the mouth.
  • It has a reputation as abortifacient.
  • In Palau, for yaws (frambesia), bark is squeezed together with young stem and flower stalk of Croton sp., and the sap is poured in heated coconut oil; when cooled, applied to affected part of the body.
  • In the Philippines, Mangrove trumpet tree is used to treat nervous diseases and flatulence.
  • Its bark is applied on antipyretic, asthma, vomiting, inflammation and diarrhea.
  • Flower and fruit were used as chlorosis, cholera, diuresis and hematemesis.

Other Facts

  • The showy and fragrant flowers are very short-lived, opening at dusk and falling off the tree at sunrise.
  • Bruised leaves have an aromatic but disagreeable aroma.
  • Seeds are covered by a corky coating; they float and are dispersed by seawater.
  • Blackish, coarse fiber is obtained from the bark.
  • The pale, white wood is durable, light in weight, soft and easily worked.
  • It is used for small household goods, toys, floats and wooden shoes.
  • The wood is used for fuel.
  • Its leaves and fruits can be substitutes of betel leaves.
  • Timber is light and good for carving.
  • The Javanese use the wood to make saddles, while the Filipinos use it to make wooden shoes and fishing net floats.
  • In Indonesia, the wood is used to make traditional masks.
  • Bark is used as fish poison. Some reports that a decoction of bark in dogs has no ill effects.
  • The wood is used for making charcoal, matchsticks and toys.
  • The wood is light and thus was preferred by the Javanese for making saddles.
  • It is also used in floats for fishing nets and for wooden shoes in the Philippines.
  • It is used as firewood, and also for making traditional ‘wayang kulit’ (shadow puppet) masks in Indonesia.

References:

https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=507297#null

https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/taxon/taxonomydetail?id=14450

https://gd.eppo.int/taxon/DQLSP

http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-320759

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolichandrone_spathacea

http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Dolichandrone+spathacea

https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/225716

http://www.stuartxchange.com/Tiwi.html

https://www.flowersofindia.net/catalog/slides/Mangrove%20Trumpet%20Tree.html

https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/19468

https://plants.usda.gov/home/plantProfile?symbol=DOSP3

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