Trees of Morni: Pula

Pula (Kydia calycina) is a moderate sized deciduous tree that can grow upto 20 m tall.It occurs chiefly in mixed, moist deciduous forests and is not a very common tree.The grey bark is rough with large white specks on branches.The young parts are covered with grey stellate (radial) hairs.
Leaves are 4-5 by 3 inches, rounded, cordate, palmately 5-7 nerved, generally with as many lobes or angles as nerves. The leaves are dark green with scattered hairs above, pale/greyish beneath. The leaf stalk is 1-2 inches. Flowers are white or pink, polygamous, and occur in axillary or terminal clusters. The seeds are reniform, furrowed.
The wood is white and soft is of little value and rarely used.The bark gives a fibre that is used to clarify sugar in Northern India. Pula is leafless from January to March. It flowers about the end of the hot weather, and beginning of the rains. Fruit ripens in the cold season and hangs on the tree for many months.
Among the Santali tribals, a paste of the pounded leaves is applied to relieve body pains, arthritis and lumbago; a poultice of the leaves is reportedly used to treat skin diseases.


Pula tree, Near Deora Village Bhoj Balag Jan 2019