Characteristics of Itchytree Tree (Barringtonia acutangula) in the Wild

Barringtonia acutangula
Itchytree or Mango-pine is a tree species native to the coasts of South Asia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, and northern Australasia. In Sanskrit this tree is called Nichul. He also has several other names such as Hijal, Nadikranta, and Hijalagacha.

Research on this tree has reported several medicinal uses, including antitumor, antibiotic, antinociceptive, antifungal, and growth inhibition of Helicobacter pylori. The bark contains a potent opioid painkiller.

An ancient 1889 book entitled The Useful Native Plants of Australia notes that “In India, an extract or juice is obtained from the leaves of this tree which, when mixed with oil, is used in practice [sic!] Native for skin eruptions. Kernel powder and prepared with sago and butter, used for diarrhea, mixed with milk to produce vomit (Treasury of Botany). The roots are bitter, and are said to be similar to Cinchona, but also cool and smell. (Drury)”.

 

Characteristics of Itchytree Leaf

Barringtonia acutangula Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Cerlin Ng

The leaves are thick, smooth, oval-shaped, about 8-12 cm long and 4-5 cm wide, with reddish petioles 0.5-1.0 cm long.

 

Characteristics of Itchytree flower

Barringtonia acutangula Flower
Source : flickr.com/Cerlin Ng

The flowers are white or pink and appear in clumps 40-50 cm long. The flower blooms at night and falls in the morning. The flowers have a sweet, intoxicating smell.

 

Characteristics of Itchytree Fruit

Barringtonia acutangula Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Kristopher Kupsch

The fruit is oval-shaped about 3 cm long and has one seed inside.

WARNING: The fruit is poisonous.

 

Characteristics of Itchytree Tree

Barringtonia acutangula Tree
Source : flickr.com/Michael J Barritt

Itchytree is a medium-sized tree that can grow to 8-15 meters tall. The bark is dark and thick.

The tree can grow in wet areas and is resistant to flooding or severe drought. Even after being submerged for months in water, the Itchytree tree persists.

 

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