You are on page 1of 1

KUMBHA or PATANA OAK Careya arborea Roxburgh.

(Order: Myrtaceae), Careya in honour of William Carrey, the founder of the Serampur College, a missionary and scholar. Arborea, in Latin, meaning tree-like. Description: A moderate-sized deciduous tree, 20 to 60 ft. Leaves 6 to 12 in. long by 3 to 7 in. wide, usually stalk less, broad ovovate, with a rounded or slightly acuminate tip. Flowers large, creamy white, strongly ill-scented, 2 to 2.5 in. across, arranged at the ends of the branches, stamens very numerous. Fruit spherical, 2 to 3.5 inch in diameter, hard and fibrous, much like an apple in appearance. Distribution: The tree is found sporadically throughout the greater part of India and Burma. It ascends to 5,000 ft. Gardening: Propagated by seed. Uses: The bark yields a good fibre for coarse cordage and sacking. It is also used as a tan and a dye. In medicine the bark is used as an astringent; when moistened it gives out much mUcil-age and is utilized in the preparation of emollient embrocations. The flowers are given as a tonic after child-birth, and the dried calyces are sold in the market under the name vakumbha as a demulcent in coughs and colds. As a food the fruit is eaten in the Punjab and is also given to cattle. In Oudh flour is made from the bark as a famine food. The seeds are regarded as poisonous. The timber is very durable and fairly hard and is used in the production of agricultural instruments, gun-stocks, etc. The wood is water resistant and is much admired for axles. Note: The flowers appear about February-March and the fruit remains on till late into the rains. The flowers emit a strong disagreeable odour. The fruit exudes mucilage. .