Ujjain Desmodium Tree
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Ujjain Desmodium Tree
ative Photo: Satish Phadke
Common name: Ujjain Desmodium Tree • Hindi: सन्दन Sandan, तिन्नास Tinnas • Kannada: ಬೆಟ್ಟಹೊನ್ನೆ Bettahonne, huli, ಕರಿಮುತ್ತಲ, karimutala, Karimuttala, ಕರಿಮುತ್ತುಗ Karimuttuga, ತಿನಿಶ Tinisha, ರಥದ್ರು Rathadru, ರಥದ್ರುಮ Rathadruma • Malayalam: malavenna, nemi, totukara • Marathi: कालापलास Kalapalas, Tanach, तिवस Tewas • Nepali: सन्दन Sandan • Oriya: bandano • Sanskrit: अक्षकः Akshaka, Ashmagarbhaka, अतिमुक्त Atimukta, Bhasmagharba, तिनिशः Tinish, रथद्रुः Rathadru, रथद्रुमः Rathadrum • Tamil: Naநரிவெஂகை vengai, atimuttam, cakkirini • Telugu: తెల్లమొతుకు Tellamotuku atimuktamu, badanegi
Botanical name: Ougeinia oojeinensis    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Dalbergia oojeinensis, Desmodium oojeinense, Ougeinia dalbergioides

Ujjain Desmodium Tree is a medium sized deciduous tree, 6-12 m tall, with a short crooked trunk and dark brown, deeply cracked bark. It is probably the only tree species in the genus Desmodium. The species name oojeinense is after the city of Ujjain. In fact, the pillars of Madaji Scindia's palace at Ujjain, are made of the wood of this tree. Leaves are trifoliate, with large, rigidly leathery leaflets. Central leaflet is broadly elliptic or roundish, sometimes trapezoidal, with 4-8 pairs of main nerves. Flowers are numerous, white or pink, borne in short racemes fascicled from the nodes of old branches. Fruit is a linear, flat pod, light brown in color, with 2-5 seeds per pod. Ujjain Desmodium Tree is found in India and Nepal. It is found in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 1200-1300 m, from Kashmir to C. Nepal.
Medicinal uses: Juice of the root, mixed with the powder of two fruits of black pepper is taken in cases of eye trouble. A paste of bark is applied to cuts and wounds.

Identification credit: Satish Phadke Photographed in Pune, Maharashtra.

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