Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers.
Family : Lythraceae
Common Name : മണിമരുത് (Mal)
: जरुल (Hin)
This tropical flowering tree is one of the most outstanding summer bloomers. Lagerstroemia speciosa is a larger form of the more commonly grown L. indica (Crape myrtle.) It is called Queen Crape Myrtle because it's the Queen of the Crape Myrtles, dominating with grand size and larger, crinkled flowers. The name Crape myrtle is given to these tree/shrubs because of the flowers which look as if made from delicate crape paper. Lagerstroemia speciosa is a large tree growing up to 50' but it can be kept smaller by trimming. It stands on an attractive, spotted bark that often peels. This bark is commercially used and is a valuable timber. The large leaves are also appealing as they turn red right before they drop in the winter. A postal stamp was issued by the Indian Postal Department to commemorate this flower.
Deciduous trees, to 25 m high, bark 4-6 mm thick, yellowish-brown, smooth; fibrous. Leaves simple, opposite or subopposite, 7.5-25 x 3-10 cm, oblong, ovate-lanceolate, elliptic-lanceolate or elliptic-oblong, apex acute, base obtuse, round or acute, margin entire, glabrous, coriaceous; stipules intrapetiolar, deciduous; petiole 6-12 mm long, stout, glabrous; lateral nerves 11-19 pairs, parallel, prominent beneath, intercostae reticulate, prominent. Flowers bisexual, 5-7 cm across, mauve, pink or white, in terminal panicles; inflorescence branches puberulous; pedicel 1 cm long. Calyx tube 1 x 1.3 cm, hemispherical, puberulous, ribbed without; lobes 6, triangular, acute. Petals 6, 4 x 2.5 cm, obovate, clawed, margins crispate. Stamens many, inserted near the base of the calyx tube; filaments exserted. Ovary half inferior, sessile, glabrous, 6-celled, ovules many; style 2 cm long, curved; stigma capitate. Fruit a capsule, 18-30 mm long, ovoid, brown, woody, dehiscent; seeds 10-12 mm long, winged, pale brown.
Use: Leaves are used in the Philippines as a folk medicine for the treatment of diabetes and kidney diseases. The fruit are used India to cure mouth ulcers. The roots are also considered astringent and the seeds narcotic. Timber used for furniture. Lagerstroemia speciosa possess many Pharmacological effects included antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer, antidiabetic, hypolipidemic, antiobesity, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, gastrointestinal, diuretic, thrombolytic, cardiovascular, central nervous, inhibition of TNFα production, xanthine oxidase inhibitition, hepatoprotective and nephroprotective effects. (Int. J. Curr. Pharm. Res. 11 (5):18-26. 2019.)
Distribution : Indo-Malesia
Flowering & Fruiting : March-November