Characteristics of Yellow Mai Tree (Ochna integerrima) in the Wild

Ochna integerrima
Yellow Mai is a species of flowering tree in the genus Ochna in the Ochnaceae family. The tree is very famous in Vietnam, the people there refer to it as Mai vàng, Hoàng mai, or Mai Hằng where it is popular as a bonsai subject.

In Vietnam, the Ochna integerrima variety whose flowers have five petals is called Mai vàng (Yellow Mai), while those with five to nine petals are called Mai núi (Mountain Mai).

Not only is it called by the local name of Vietnam, but this tree also has other nicknames in various countries such as Jin lian mu in China, Angkea, Angkeasel, Angkea loeung, or Kongkea in Cambodia, and Chang nao in Thailand.

THE LEGEND OF THE YELLOW MAI TREE
Vietnamese people have a fairy tale about Yellow Mai or Ochna integerrima. The story is about a kind and brave girl. He fought monsters to protect the villagers. Unfortunately, he died after the battle. His courage touched the Gods. So, even though he is dead, every new year comes, he is revived to visit his family and village for 9 days. When his parents died, he transformed into a flowering tree, namely Yellow Mai or Ochna integerrima.

 

Characteristics of Yellow Mai Leaf

Ochna integerrima Leaf
Source : flickr.com/SierraSunrise

The leaves are arranged on branches, the petiole is 2-5 mm long, the leaves are 7-19 cm long and 3-5.5 cm wide, elliptical, simple, with a wide wedge-shaped base, and jagged leaf edges.

 

Characteristics of Yellow Mai Flower

Ochna integerrima Flower
Source : wikimedia.org

The flowers are hermaphrodite, the length of the flower stalk is about 1 cm, the flowers have a double sheath, 5-9 sepals are oval, 1-2 cm long. The stamens are in three circles and 2-3 cm in length.

The flowering period lasts from March to April. Lateral inflorescences contain few flowers.

After the Yellow Mai flower blooms, the base of the flower swells, and the petals, stamens, and flower beds turn a bright red color.

 

Characteristics of Yellow Mai Fruit

Ochna integerrima Fruit
Source : tropical.theferns.info

The fruit is attached to the base of the flower, when ripe is black, 10-12 mm long and 6-7 mm in diameter. Yellow Mai fruit ripens from May to June.

 

Characteristics of Yellow Mai Tree

Ochna integerrima Tree
Source : flickr.com/Cam Do Xuan

Yellow Mai grows as a small tree or shrub that can reach a height of 5-7 meters. Stems are short, curved, and can reach 6-16 cm in diameter. The bark is brownish gray.

Yellow Mai trees are widespread in deciduous forests of Southeast Asia, including China, India, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Laos, the Malay Peninsula, and in Indochina. The growing area is moist or dry forest, often found in hilly areas with a layer of clay, sandy, or rocky soil. The tree thrives at an altitude of up to 1,400 m above sea level.

The tree is widely cultivated as a valuable ornamental tree to add to the beauty of a garden or yard.

 
HOW TO CULTIVATE YELLOW MAI TREE

Yellow Mai is a tree that is difficult to grow and also difficult to care for. Cultivators of this crop will select good seeds and soak them in water for 24 hours, then dry in the sun for a few hours, and the next day sow in moist, light soil.

Ochna integerrima likes moist, light soils, and is very resistant to the soil that is muddy or waterlogged. Therefore, Yellow Mai needs to be planted in a high place and watered regularly.

If planted in a pot, fertilizing and replacing the soil every year must be done regularly.

 

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