Mesua ferrea (Ceylon ironwood, Indian rose chestnut, Cobra's saffron
or locally, Penaga Lilin,Na (Sinhalese) or Nahar/Nahor, Sanskrit
Nāga नाग, नागर, नागकेशर) is a species in the family Calophyllaceae.
The plant is named after the heaviness of its timber and cultivated
in tropical climates for its form, foliage, and fragrant flowers. It
is native to tropical Sri Lanka but also cultivated in Assam,
southern Nepal, Indochina, and the Malay Peninsula.
It is a tall tree reaching up to 100 feet tall, often buttressed
at the base with a trunk up to 2 meters in diameter. It is common in
wet zone at Sri Lanka up to 1500 meters. It has simple, narrow,
oblong, dark green leaves 7–15 cm long, with a whitish underside;
the emerging young leaves are red to yellowish pink and drooping.
The flowers are 4–7.5 cm diameter, with four white petals and a
center of numerous yellow stamens.
The National Ironwood Forest is a 96 ha (238 acre) forest in Sri
Lanka where Mesua ferrea trees dominate the vegetation. It is
said[by whom?] that during King Dappula IV's period (8th century AD)
this forest was created and the remaining trees are the shoots of
it. Hence it is considered the oldest man-made forest in Sri Lanka.
According to botanists this is the only ironwood forest in the dry
zone with wet zone vegetation.
Symbolism and uses
It is the National tree of Sri Lanka. The wood is very heavy,
hard and strong. Weight is about 72 lbs per cubic foot & density is
1.12 ton/m3. Color is deep dark red. Refractory in sawing &
mechanics moderately well. It is used for railroad ties and heavy
Its resin is slightly poisonous, but many parts have medicinal
properties. It enhances the complexion. It leads to fragility
transparency to the skin. The flowers are acrid, anodyne, digestive,
constipating, stomachache[clarification needed]. They are useful in
conditions like asthma, leprosy, cough, fever, vomiting and
impotency. The seed oil is considered to be very
useful in conditions like vata and skin diseases. Dried flowers are
hemorrhoids and dysentery with mucus. Fresh flowers are useful
remedy for itching, nausea, erysipelas, bleeding piles, metrorrhagea,
menorrhagea, excessive thirst, and sweating. Oil
from the seeds is used for sores, scabies, wounds, and rheumatism.
Ironwood, Cobra's Saffron, Ceylon Ironwood, Indian Rose Chestnut,
Origin: Sri Lanka, India, Indo-China, Malaysia Peninsula
big treefull sunmoderate waterirritatingethnomedicalincuded in CD
Stunning ornamental tree with bright red young leaves which gives
the tree unforgettable appearance. White flowers with yellow centers
similar to Fried Egg Tree flowers (Onchoba spinosa). In tropics, it
grows into a large evergreen tree, often buttressed at the base;
with trunk up to 3 feet in diameter. The wood of Mesua ferrea is
very heavy, it is used for railroad ties and building needs. Its
resin is slightly poisonous, but many parts have medicinal
properties. Parts Used: Flower buds, flowers, fruit, seed, root,
bark, oil. Dried flower: astringent stomachic, carminative,
cardiotonic, blood tonic. Leaf: external use for wound healing.
Propagation: Seeds or cuttings.
Seeds might be edible if well cooked