Careya arborea Roxb.
Synonym : Barringtonia arborea (Roxb.) F.Muell.
Family : Lecythidaceae
Local Names : Aalam, Pezhu, Slow match tree, Wild guava
Flowering and fruiting period: February – July
Distribution: Tropical Asia
Habitat: Moist and dry deciduous forests, also in the plains
IUCN status: Data Deficient
Uses: The fruit is edible, but the seeds are reported as slightly poisonous. The fibrous bark has been applied medicinally for relieving body swellings. The bark of the tree and the sepals of the flowers are well-known Indian remedies, and are valued on account of their astringent and mucilaginous properties, being administered internally in coughs and colds and applied externally as an embrocation. The bark yields a good fibre that is used locally for coarse cordage. The fibrous bark contains a brown dye. It is also suitable for making brown paper and is used as a slow match to ignite gunpowder.
Key Characters: Deciduous trees, to 12 m high, bark brownish, rough. Leaves simple, alternate, clustered at the tips of branchlets, obovate, margin crenate-serrate. Flowers bisexual, greenish-white, in terminal spikes. Calyx tube campanulate, lobes 4, imbricate. Petals 4, elliptic-oblong. Stamens numerous in several rows. Ovary inferior, 4-5-celled, ovules many in each cell. Fruit a berry, globose, green.