Trees of Morni: Bhut-vriksha

Bhut-vriksha/Shyonak/ Tree of Damocles/ Indian Trumpet Flower/ Midnight horror/Broken Bones Plant (Oroxylum indicum) is native to the Himalayan foothills and grows to a height of 20-25 feet. The large reddish-purple (pinkish-yellow within) flowers bloom at night and are pollinated by bats!

Bhut Vriksha in Bloom, Chhamla-Thapli road (near Dhaman village) Morni Hills
Bhut Vriksha in Bloom, Chhamla-Thapli road (near Dhaman village) Morni Hills (end July)
Flowers of Bhut Vriksha Chhamla-Thapli road (near Dhaman village) Morni Hills
Flowers of Bhut Vriksha Chhamla-Thapli road (near Dhaman village) Morni Hills

The enoromous purple-brown, flat seed pods (often four feet in length) hang down from bare branches appearing like the hanging swords of Damocles or the wings of a large bird like the vulture.

Fruit (Seedpod) of Bhut-vriksha, Gajan,Morni hills
Fruit (Seedpod) of Bhut-vriksha, Gajan,Morni hills
Seedpod of Bhut-Vriksha, Barisher road, Morni hills (August)
Seedpod of Bhut-Vriksha, Barisher road, Morni hills (August)

The large leaf stalks wither and fall in a sinister pile at the base of the tree that resembles a pile of bones!! The spooky appearance of the tree lends it the name – ‘bhut’ (ghost) ‘vriksh’ (tree). The seeds are flat and round with papery wings. The seeds and the root bark are used in Ayurvedic formulations including the ‘Chyawanprash’.

Leaves of Bhut-Vriksha, Barisher road, Morni hills (August)
Leaves of Bhut-Vriksha, Barisher road, Morni hills (August)
Bhut vriksha, Mallah turn, Bir Shikargarh, Morni-Pinjore (January 2013)
Tree of Damocles, Mallah turn
Tree of Damocles!
Bhut vriksha, trunk

5 thoughts on “Trees of Morni: Bhut-vriksha”

  1. Er.M.C.Aggarwal

    I came to know this Bhoot Vriksh for the first time , thanks for valuable information.
    Last time I saw a herb named KALIJIRI (Vermonia Anthelmintica ) , grows wild abundanyly near village Ganderan 7-8 km from Morni.
    Its seeds are used which contans a resin , an alkaloid known as vermonine,It works as Ramban Aushadhi in many ailments .Used for hair growth , blood ciculation ,diabetes , internal strength. improves memory ,immune system,cures cough,skin diseases and many more.

  2. Hello,

    Just stumbled upon your site. You have done an amazing amount of documentation. Very nice to read through your documentation which are strongly backed by proper references.

    Many Thanks,
    Vasantha Kaje

  3. R/sirs I have seen a same tree in Beed district.kindly let me know the use of its leaves, bark& seeds

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