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ASUPALA Polyalthea longifolia Benth. (Order: Annonapeae).

Polyalthea is derived from the combination of two Greek words meaning eventually many cures in reference to the supposed medicinal properties. Longifolia, in Latin, referring to the length of the leaves. Description: A tall handsome evergreen tree. Leaves 3 to 9 in. long 0.75 to 1.5 in. wide, narrowly lance-shaped tapering to a fine point, and shining, margin waved or crinkled, petiole 0.25 to 0.5 in. long. Flowers 1 to 1.5 in. across, petals six similar in shape to the leaves. Stamens many. Fruit egg-shaped about 0.75 in. long, rounded at both ends, smooth, turning almost black when ripe, several arranged at the end of a common stalk. Distribution: The Ashok is indigenous to Ceylon. It is extensively planted as a roadside tree in India. Gardening: Propagated by seed. The seeds should be planted soon after ripening of the fruit as they do hot keep well. The seedlings should be kept in pots till old enough to transplant as they do not transplant well. The tree is slow growing. Uses: Planted as a shade tree. The bark is said to yield a good fibre. The wood is good, light and very flexible. It is used for drum cylinders, pencils, and boxes. In China it is used for matches. Note: When the fruit is ripe the tree is visited by large numbers of bats which feed on them. Next morning the ground is scattered with the seedsthe remains of the banquet!