I am a short tree but hope to make it big, just like the other members of my family. I sway and swing to the alluring breeze at my abode near the volleyball court. My blooms have always caught the eyes of my lil friends. They would scamper around me every morning, playing with my flowers and leaves. COVID has given me gloomy mornings with no noise and chitter chatter around. Yet I don’t stop smiling and blooming, as I am positive that my little friends will join me back in our daily gala time at school.
Know me scientifically
Also known as Mexican Calabash or Miorrito is known as Thiruvottukkay in Tamil. It belongs to the family Bignonlaceae.
It is a low-growing tree with a rounded or spreading crown, commonly seen 3-4 m tall, rarely reaching a height of 12 m. The short bole is up to 50cm in diameter. Leaves are trifoliate, alternate or clustered, with prominently winged leaf-stalks, dark green, up to 8 inches long, leaflets inverted-lance shaped. Flowers are bell-shaped, solitary, yellow-green to maroon, on short stalk, up to 6 cm or so long. Fruit is cannon ball like, nearly round, sometimes oval, hard-shelled, smooth, green to purple, becoming yellow-green before falling, commonly 4-5 inches in diameter. It is cultivated in India as a small ornamental tree.
Medicinal uses: The fruit is pectoral. The pulp is used particularly in the treatment of colds, and for diseases of the kidneys, a decoction of the leaves is employed as an astringent and antihemorrhagic. It is much used in the treatment of haemoptysis and dysentery.
Source: Crescentia Alata