The Indian Ashoka tree, also known as Saraca indica, is a flowering tree native to the Indian subcontinent. It is a highly revered tree in Indian mythology and culture, and it is often planted near temples and in public places. The tree is known for its beautiful flowers and medicinal properties, which have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
|Common Name||Ashoka tree|
|Scientific Name||Saraca asoca|
|Maximum Height||10-12 meters|
|Diameter of Crown When Mature||6-8 meters|
|Diameter of Tree Trunk When Mature||50-80 cm|
|Years it Takes to Grow||10-15 years|
|Economic Benefit to Farmers||Timber, medicinal uses, ornamental value|
Why is it called Ashoka tree ?
The Indian Ashoka tree is named after Ashoka, an ancient Indian emperor who ruled from 268 to 232 BCE. According to legend, after a particularly bloody battle, Ashoka wandered into a garden and was struck by the beauty of a blooming Ashoka tree. The tree’s beautiful flowers and peaceful surroundings are said to have inspired Ashoka to renounce violence and embrace Buddhism. As a result, the Ashoka tree has become a symbol of peace and compassion in Indian culture and mythology, and it is often planted near temples and in public places. The tree is also known for its medicinal properties, which have been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries.
The Indian Ashoka tree is a medium-sized evergreen tree that can grow up to 10-12 meters in height. It has a wide canopy with a rounded shape and a straight trunk that can reach up to 60 cm in diameter. The tree has dark green leaves that are arranged alternately along the branches, and they are oval in shape with a pointed tip. The bark of the tree is grayish-brown and has a smooth texture.
The Indian Ashoka tree plays an important ecological role in the Indian ecosystem. It provides habitat and food for a variety of birds, animals, and insects. The flowers of the tree are particularly important for pollinators such as bees and butterflies. Additionally, the tree is known to help prevent soil erosion and improve soil fertility.
Importance to Birds, Animals, and Insects
The Indian Ashoka tree is an important source of food and habitat for many birds, animals, and insects. The flowers of the tree are particularly attractive to bees and butterflies, which help to pollinate other plants in the surrounding area. Birds such as mynas and barbets are known to nest in the tree, while animals such as monkeys and squirrels feed on the tree’s fruits and seeds.
The Indian Ashoka tree can grow in a variety of soils, but it prefers well-drained soils with a pH of 6-7.5. The tree is tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, but it grows best in areas with an average annual temperature of 20-30°C. The tree can tolerate both humid and dry climates, but it grows best in areas with a moderate amount of rainfall.
States in India Where the Tree is Found Naturally
The Indian Ashoka tree is found naturally in many states across India, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Karnataka.
Different Stages of Tree Growth
The Indian Ashoka tree goes through several stages of growth, starting from a seedling to a mature tree. After germination, the seedling develops its first pair of leaves, and it continues to grow taller and develop more leaves over the next few years. Once the tree reaches maturity, it begins to produce flowers and fruits, which can be harvested for their medicinal properties.
Benefit to Farmers
Farmers can benefit from growing Indian Ashoka trees through agroforestry. The tree can help to improve soil fertility, prevent soil erosion, and provide shade for other crops. Additionally, the tree’s bark and flowers are valuable sources of medicinal compounds, which can be sold in local markets for a profit.
The Indian Ashoka tree is an important part of the Indian ecosystem and culture. Its beautiful flowers, medicinal properties, and ecological role make it a valuable tree to plant in public spaces, near temples, and in agroforestry systems. By planting Indian Ashoka trees, farmers can improve soil fertility and diversify their income streams, while also providing habitat and food for a variety of wildlife.