seeds of Microcos paniculata

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Microcos paniculata Samen
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Microcos paniculata, also called shiral, is a species of shrub that belongs to the family Malvaceae. The plant’s synonym is Microcos nervosa. Common names for the plant include Visalam in Tamil, Asar in Bengali and Sinhala in Keliyan. The plant has its origins in Southeast Asia and China. The plant’s distribution encompasses India, Laos, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Malaysia. Microcos paniculata, can grow to a height of between 3 and 12 metres at maturity. The plant has a coarse bark, hairy branchlets, and petioles. Leaves are leathery, oblong or ovate in shape and have a length of 4 to 8 cm. The plant’s bracts are lanceolate, its pedicel is short, its petals are hairy, and its sepals are oblong. Fruits take the form of drupes which are either spherical or obovate and have a length of 15 mm and a width of 10 mm. The plant’s drupes are edible, and one can eat them right off the plant or incorporate them into salads. The plant is also a source of medicines that have historically been of use in warding off disease and maintaining health. Various parts of the plant provide remedies for the treatment of dysentery, eczema, typhoid fever, itches, indigestion, and syphilitic ulcerations. The plant’s foliage makes excellent green manure which one can use to improve the productivity of other plants. Microcos paniculata provides a hardwood whose weight hovers from medium to light. Such a hardwood is ideal for making cabinets. The plant’s leaves are used in the Andaman Islands to wrap cigars while the bark provides the perfect raw material for the manufacture of ropes. Microcos paniculata mostly grows on the banks of streams and in evergreen forests. The altitude of such locations is usually around 1000 metres. The plant grows best in well-drained soils that are rich in organic matter.
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