Lafoensia Tree
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Lafoensia Tree
D Introduced Photo: Rajesh Ramnarayan
Common name: Lafoensia Tree, Mangava-brava
Botanical name: Lafoensia pacari    Family: Lythraceae (Crape Myrtle family)
Synonyms: Lafoensia lucida, Lafoensia petiolata, Lafoensia sessilifolia

Lafoensia Tree is a tree growing up to a height of 8 m, the bark is seen with ridges and vertical fissures. Simple leathery leaf of about 6 cm are arranged in opposite. Leaves have a very small leaf-stalk. Leaf shape is obovate, margins entire and leaf tip with a short sharp point. Inflorescence is racemous and at branch-ends. Flower-stalk is 1.5 cm to 3 cm long, fragrant bell shaped flowers is seen. Flowers are bisexual, whitish cream in color, and have falling off petals. About 8-16 crumpled petals and seen. Stamens are long 20-26 numbers. The fruit is dry and regularly splitting. Seeds are small sub-rectangular and winged. Lafoensia Tree is native to Brazil, rarely cultivated in India.
Medicinal uses: The leaves of Lafoensia Tree are used in Brazilian folk medicine in wound healing, cutaneous mycoses, and in the treatment of gastritis and ulcers.

Identification credit: Rajesh Ramnarayan Photographed in Kallar, Mettupalayam, Tamilnadu.

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