Ashoka Tree –
Ashoka is one of the most ancient and sacred trees of India. This plant has beautiful flowers and foliage. Ashoka or Asoka in Sanskrit means without sorrow or that gives no grief. It is also called as Asoca, Asoka, Sita Ashoka etc with botanical name Saraca Asoca.or Saraca Indica.
Indigenous to India, Burma and Malaya Asoca is a ever green small , erect tree with shiny deep green leaves growing in thick clusters. Flowers with orange-yellow cluster can be found almost throughout the year and profuse flowering can be seen in the winter months which turn the tree into an object of stunning beauty. Flowers are Yellow when young; they become orange then crimson red before wilting.
Coming to mythology Asoka tree is sacred to both Hindus as well as Buddhist. Hindus has dedicated this sacred tree to Kamadeva ‘the god of love’ and to the Buddhists as Lord Buddha was born under this tree.
This easy to grow and easy to prune tree is an ideal addition to any landscape or as an lawn tree as it produces compact shaped canopy, Due to its abundant flowers it attracts lots of bees, butterflies and birds.
In Ayurveda concoctions are made out of barks of the Ashoka tree to cure women’s health problems.
This beautiful tree is honored as the state tree of Uttar Pradesh and state flower of Odisha.
Saraca Indica is often confused with Polyalthia longifolia pendula because of closely resembling leaves of both the species ( even this is called Ashoka tree) and this is called as False Ashoka/Indian Fir tree. Saraca Indica has lot of branches, a thick canopy and gives big bunch of yellow to orange flowers and bark is thick, very bitter and has medicinal aroma where as in false Ashoka the tree is tall pillar like and pendulum like(pointing) at top – popular garden plant with thin bark and flowers apple green in color.