Common Name Mast Tree, False Ashoka, Asopalav
Botanical Name Polyalthia longifolia var. pendula
Local Name
Native/Non Native Native
Origin India & Sri Lanka
Location at Holy Family Church Church front compound, Graveyard, Near Ashankur

(These photographs are authentic captures from the Holy Family Church campus, portraying the scenic splendour of the place.)

The False Ashoka is an evergreen tree grown mostly as an avenue tree. It is a hardy tree that grows between 10 to 20 meters in height (approximately 30 to 65 feet) and is native to India and Sri Lanka.

The new leaves are brownish red that turn dark green as they age. The trees flower between March to May and July to September. The flowers are bisexual and pollinated by insects, but the seeds are dispersed by gravitational pull and human intervention.

Its wood is not very durable and is therefore only used for producing matches, boxes, drum cylinders and packing crates. However, due to its size, its trunk was used to create the masts of sailing ships which is why it is known as the Mast Tree.

Its leaves and bark were also used as an effective method to prevent or reduce fever since various parts of the tree contain anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory and hypotensive (blood pressure reducing) properties. It serves as a host plant (a plant where insects lay their eggs and complete their lifecycle) to a variety of butterflies and other insects.

IMPORTANT: The information on this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference books. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Readers should always consult their physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.

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