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Palash Tree in India or Flame of the Forest tree

Religiously important trees in India


Writer : Pranav Dave Published on : 20-Jul-2022

Palash tree in India is also called the Flame of the forest as the flowers of this tree is very similar to a flame. This tree also holds religious significance in Hindu religious practices. 

(Image credits: Freepik)

Palash is a therapeutic tree species which are commonly found in the Indian subcontinent, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Pakistan. This tree has been an indispensable part of Ayurveda and Hindu culture for ages, as it incorporates many lives saving botanical uses as well as used in worshipping Lord Shiva the destroyer. Flames of the forest tree is a dry deciduous forest tree species, which can be spotted in West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, southern Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh etc.

Why is Palash called “Flame of the Forest”?

Palash tree has a very special stance when it comes to appearance, as the Flames of the forest tree has dark brown bark and high branches that grow out swiftly like bushes. Although, it grows very gradually and can be seen developing into a tree after 10 years or 12 years span. The important part is the flowering, as it is the flower of the Flame of the forest tree that blossoms in a shape just like a flame of fire glows. Further, the color fresh orange and slight yellowish gives it confirmation of fire. This is the sole reason why this is called Flame of the Forest. 

(Image credits: The Green Institute)

Is Flame of the Forest a Flowering Plant?

Yes, the Flame of Forest tree is a flowering plant which continues to grow and develop into a full-length deciduous tree. It goes by the biological name of Butea Monosperma which is not rare in India, in fact, found in abundance as it has been in the religious and cultural practices of Hindus. The flame of the forest flower is considered equal to Lord Shiva as it represents the flame of the flower of War. It is also prominent in medical sciences as the seeds and bark of the tree are used to treat ulcers, intestinal worms, piles, and other skin-related problems.

How do you grow the Flames of the Forest tree in India? 

Palash tree can be planted in India in 2 ways and its growth factor depends on 4 basic requirements which are Soil, light, water, and climate. 

Seed Sowing Method

Go to the marketplace and buy some fresh Palash seeds. Now sow them directly into your backyard garden or somewhere else, where sunlight is abundant. The bud will germinate within 14-15 days. 

Half Bred Plantation method

The other method to plant the Flame of the forest tree is to bring an already grown plant from a nursery, which is well developed for 1 month and then plant it where you intend to plan it but in the abundant sunlight spot. It has more chances of survival in the harsh weather as well. 

Requirements responsible for healthy growth of Palash Tree

1) Light 

Though it can grow in a shaded area as well, yet it grows best in full sun to partial shade. Around 6-7 hours of bright sunlight is beneficial for its growth.

2) Soil 

Its best growth is observed in fertile loamy soil with consistent moisture. A slightly saline soil, having a pH between 8-9, is best for the tree. For heavy clay soil, amend the quality using compost or manure. 

3) Water

As a rule of thumb, water the plants deeply, when the topsoil looks dry, especially in summer. Reduce the rate in the winter and rainy seasons. Once established, this drought-resistant does not require much attention.

4) Climate

The plant does well in tropical and subtropical climates. It dwells in a wide temperature, ranging from 30° C to 45° C (85° F-115° F). But, thanks to its hardy nature allows it to tolerate even the lowest temperature of 2° C (35° F).

Is Gulmohar Tree the same as Flame of the Forest?

No, the Gulmohar tree is different species from Palash but there are a lot of similarities between these two, which is why people often confuse them for each other. The Gulmohar Tree goes by the biological name of Delonix Regia and blossoms in the same manner as the Fire tree. Though, the shape of the flower of Gulmohar is a cylindrical or inverted chandelier, which is extremely beautiful to witness during the spring season. They also grow in a bunch and scatter over the branches. 

Whereas, the Palash flower shape is flame-like, and grows singularly on every bud. Therefore these are called the flame of the forest.