Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Cresentia cujete


Commonly know as the Calabash tree, is a species of flowering plant native to Central & South America. It is a member of the Bignoniaceae family, of Lamiales order. In Chinese, its called 炮弹果(中国种子植物科属辞典),瓠瓜木(台湾),红椤(海南),葫芦树(广州).

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Bignoniaceae is a family of plants comprising of about 650-750 species in 116-120 genera. It was named after Jean-Paul Bignon, a Frenchman, by his protégé Joseph Pitton de Tournefort in 1694. Members are mostly trees and shrubs. Other members of this family including Jacaranda, and Tabebuia, which are planted as ornamental trees.

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Crescemtia is a small evergreen tropical tree growing up to 25’ tall. The crown is irregular.

The bark is rough.

Flowers appear directly from nodes on the trunk and branches, about 2” wide, with yellow/green colour.

Leaf is simple, entire, obovate, 4” – 8” length.

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The fruit decoction is use as medicine to treat diarrhea, stomach ache, colds, bronchitis, cough, asthma, and urethritis. The leaves are used to treat hypertension.

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The hard woody skin of the fruit can be used as a water container, bowls.

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