Bloodwood Tree
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Bloodwood Tree
D Introduced Photo: Milind Girdhari
Common name: Bloodwood Tree, Blackwood, Bluewood, Campeachy tree, Campeachy wood, Campeche logwood, Campeche wood, Jamaica wood, Logwood, Logwood tree
Botanical name: Haematoxylum campechianum    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Acosmium trichonema, Cymbosepalum baronii

Bloodwood Tree is a slow-growing, small, bushy, semi-deciduous tree with a broad crown. It is often thorny and gnarled in appearance; the bole irregularly fluted and contorted, attaining a length of 2-3 m and a diameter of 60 cm, bark grey to brown, rather smooth, peeling in flakes. Leaves are alternate, paripinnate; stipules partly spine-like; leaflets in 2-4 pairs, obovate, 1.0-3.5 x 0.5-2.5 cm, pointed at base, closely veined and hairless. Flowers are arranged in 5-20 cm long racemes in the axils leaves, 5-merous, sweet-scented; sepal-cup 4-5 mm long, deeply lobed. Petals are 5-7 mm long, bright yellow; stamens 10, free; ovary superior, shortly stalked, hairless; style thread-like. The fruit is a lanceshaped, extremely flattened pod, 3-5 cm long, pointed at both ends, splitting not along the sutures but along the median of the sides, usually 2-seeded. The tree is valued particularly as a source of dye material, but is also often used locally as a medicine and source of wood. It is cultivated as a dye plant in several tropical countries of the Americas, Africa and elsewhere, and has become naturalized in some places. It is native to S. Mexico to Honduras.
Medicinal uses: The wood is anodyne, antiinflammatory, mildly astringent, blood purifier, digestive, febrifuge, haemostatic and tonic. It is prescribed in the form of a decoction and liquid extract. It is considered useful against a range of conditions including diarrhoea, dysentery, atonic dyspepsia and leucorrhoea. Externally, it is used as an astringent disinfectant for wounds and skin ulcers. An ointment prepared from the wood is said to be useful against cancer and hospital gangrene.

Identification credit: N Arun Kumar Photographed in Aurangabad, Maharashtra.

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