When you visit Kellie's Castle, there is a very spooky but fascinating tree that you must not miss seeing. I'm sure this tree is as old as the castle itself, which by now should be almost a hundred years old. If you take the side entrance from the stables and servant quarters section, the tree is located on the left just in front of the entrance to the castle.
Midnight Horror Tree, Broken Bones Tree, Tree of Damocles
Bonglai (Malay), Indian Trumpet Flower (India)
Native to: Indian sub-continent, southern China, Southeast Asia
This native rainforest tree is used by locals in traditional remedies while some people grow it as an ornamental for its bizarre appearance. It is fast disappearing as a result of deforestation.This deciduous, small to medium-sized tree can grow up to 12m tall. It is a scrubby tree with few branches and sparse foliage.
The leaves are 2-3 times pinnate, divided and botanically a “one of its kind” on planet Earth. The large leaves can reach 2m long hence they are sometimes mistaken as tree branches.
The flowers are rather dull in colour, a light reddish purple on the outside and pale yellow inside. They open at night at about 10pm and gives off a foul odour which is amplified at midnight. Bats are attracted to it. Later all the leaves would fall to the ground and collect at the base of the trunk like a pile of broken bones. The seed pods can grow to 1 m long and hang down like swords from bare branches.
I wonder if you have ever seen such a tree. This is my first time!
“Kellie's Castle Batu Gajah, Perak part 4 - The Midnight Horror Tree”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ http://www.mynicegarden.com/ on July 23rd, 2013
USES - (Wikipedia)As food - It is a plant with edible leaves and stems.The very large young pods, known as Lin mai (ลิ้นไม้) or Lin fa (ลิ้นฟ้า) in Loei, are eaten especially in Isan (Thailand) and in Laos. They are first grilled over charcoal fire and then the somewhat bitter inner pulp is usually scraped and eaten along with lap.
In traditional medicines, the Oroxylum indicum seed is used in the traditional Indian ayurvedic medicine. The root bark is also used, administered as astringent, bitter tonic, stomachic and anodyne. It is included in famous tonic formulations, such as Chyawanprash. The bark of O. indicum (Chinese : 木蝴蝶树皮, hanyu pinyin : mù húdié shùpí) or Cortex Oroxyli is a traditional Chinese medicine ingredient. The bark of O. indicum (Singhala / Sri Lanka: Totila, Totilla) is one of main ingredients in Sri Lankan indigenous medicine (in decoctions) as a remedy for pains in joints or rheumatism.