Mesua ferrea

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Ceylon ironwood in Thelwatta, South-East Sri Lanka.
Species name: Mesua ferrea

This species is the national tree of Sri Lanka. The geography of Sri Lanka is quite similar to the South western regions of India. In fact, part of the Western Ghat seems to extend to Sri Lanka. Mesua ferrea is used in Indian cooking, as a medicine, for its fragrance and in the industry for its wood. Some people have noted the psychedelic effects of the fragrance of Nag Champa. The incense sticks made from the flowers of this plant are popular worldwide for their intense fragrance.


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Please note that the above slideshow is automatically created by searching Flickr and does not contain manually curated images. Hence, it is likely that some images may not be exactly of Mesua ferrea.


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Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Names of users who have contributed to this species page Gauravm
Date on which this page was first created 2010/10/19
This page was last modified on: 8 October 2011 00:31:05
Name of the species Mesua ferrea
ID on Encyclopedia of Life 11606170
Synonyms Please check Binomial Classification section for synonyms.
Common English Names Cobra saffron, Ceylon ironwood, Indian rose chestnut
Common Hindi Names नाग चम्पा Nag champa, नागकेसर Nagkesar
Common Indian names नाग चम्पा Nag champa, नागकेसर Nagkesar (Hindi); नर्मिश्क Narmishka (Urdu);Tadinangu (Tamil);Thorlachampa (Marathi);Vainavu (Malayalam);নোক্তে Nokte (Assamese);নাগেসৰ Nageshor (Manipuri) Flowers of India
Origins/Meanings of the common names

Taxonomy from Encyclopedia of Life

If nothing is displayed in this section, it means the EoL ID has not been defined. Please click on Edit with form button on top and follow the instructions for filling in the EoL ID

{{#EoLOnlyHierarchy:11606170}} 

Taxonomy filled in form

Angiosperm phylogeny. This image is copyrighted. Rights owned by Theodore C.H.Cole (Heidelberg) and Hartmut H. Hilger (Berlin) 2010. Please obtain copyright permissions before reuse.
Click here for the PDF of the phylogeny
Taxon Value
Regnum (Kingdom) Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Theales
Family Clusiaceae
Genus Mesua
Source of data Encyclopedia of Life

Other closely related species

SpeciesDivisionCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Aloe veraAloe vera, Medicinal aloe, Burn plantGheekumari घीकुमारी
Acacia niloticaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaAshokaअशोक Ashok
… further results
DivisionTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliophytaAlso called Angiospermae. The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms around 245–202 million years ago, and the first flowering plants known to exist are from 140 million years ago. They diversified enormously during the Lower Cretaceous and became widespread around 100 million years ago, but replaced conifers as the dominant trees only around 60-100 million years ago.These are seed plants like Gymnosperms, but can be differentiated by the presence of flowers, seeds containing endosperm and seeds that produce a fruit. Angiosperms are the most diverse and highly evolutionarily successful group of land plants.
SpeciesClassCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Acacia niloticaMagnoliopsidaArabic Gum, Black Piquant, Egyptian thorn, Prickly acaciaबबूल Babool,कीकर Kikar
Saraca indicaMagnoliopsidaAshokaअशोक Ashok
Adansonia digitataMagnoliopsidaBaobabGorakh imli गोरख इमली
… further results
ClassTaxon detailsTaxon morphology details
MagnoliopsidaMagnoliopsida is the scientific name for dicots. This class contains about ~1,99,350 species of Angiosperms. Eudicots are a subset of Dicots. Based on chloroplast DNA sequences, the divergence date between monocots and dicots is estimated to be ~200 million years, with a 40 million years uncertainty.Dicots are diverse in habit, with half of all the species being more or less woody-stemmed - a reflection of the usual presence of a vascular cambium in the class. Annuals, biennials, vines, epiphytes, aquatics, parasites, and saprotrophs are also well represented in dicots. Vascular bundles of the stem are usually borne in a ring that encloses the pith. Vessel elements present except in some putatively primitive woody or aquatic families. Most dicots have a primary root system derived from the radicle, although some have an adventitious root system commonly seen in the class of monocots. Cotyledons are usually 2, seldom 1, 3, or 4. Leaves are mostly net-veined.
SpeciesOrderCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Mesua ferreaThealesCobra saffron, Ceylon ironwood, Indian rose chestnutनाग चम्पा Nag champa, नागकेसर Nagkesar
SpeciesFamilyCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Mesua ferreaClusiaceaeCobra saffron, Ceylon ironwood, Indian rose chestnutनाग चम्पा Nag champa, नागकेसर Nagkesar
Garcinia cambogiaClusiaceaeGamboge tree
SpeciesGenusCommon nameCommon Hindi name
Mesua ferreaMesuaCobra saffron, Ceylon ironwood, Indian rose chestnutनाग चम्पा Nag champa, नागकेसर Nagkesar

Based on classification

More details can be found in the Binomial Classification section.

Morphology from Encyclopedia of Life

If nothing is displayed in this section, it means the EoL ID has not been defined. Please click on Edit with form button on top and follow the instructions for filling in the EoL ID

{{#EoLOnlyDescription:11606170}} 

General morphology

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General morphological features of the plant Trees evergreen, 20-30 m tall. Trunk upright, buttressed at base; crown conic. Bark dark gray-brown, thin, fissured, lamellate, exuding aromatic white resin when wounded. Leaves always pendulous; petiole 5-8 mm; leaf blade reddish yellow when young, becoming dark green, abaxially usually glaucous, adaxially dark green and somewhat lucid, lanceolate or narrowly ovate-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, (4-)6-10(-12) × (1-)2-4 cm, leathery; secondary veins numerous, obliquely parallel, slender and indistinct; tertiary veins and veinlets reticulate, ± visible under hand lens, base cuneate, apex acuminate or long acuminate to caudate. Pedicel 3-5 mm. Flowers bisexual, solitary, axillary, 5-8.5 cm in diam. Sepals (outer 2 slightly larger than inner 2) orbicular, convex, margin membranous and sometimes white ciliate. Petals white, obovate-cuneate, 3-3.5 cm. Stamens with filaments filiform, 1.5-2 cm; anthers golden-yellow, oblong. Ovary conic, ca. 1.5 cm; style 1-1.5 cm; stigma oblique. Fruit broadly ovoid or laterally depressed globose, ca. 3 × 2.5 cm, dry, longitudinally rugose, with stoutly pointed style at apex, usually dehiscent by 2 valves, with accrescent woody sepals and many persistent filaments at base; stalk robust, 0.8-1.2 cm. Seeds 1-4, ± irregular in shape; coat brown, fragile. Fl. Mar-May, fr. Aug-Oct. 2n = 32."Trees evergreen, 20-30 m tall. Trunk upright, buttressed at base; crown conic. Bark dark gray-brown, thin, fissured, lamellate, exuding aromatic white resin when wounded. Leaves always pendulous; petiole 5-8 mm; leaf blade reddish yellow when young, becoming dark green, abaxially usually glaucous, adaxially dark green and somewhat lucid, lanceolate or narrowly ovate-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, (4-)6-10(-12) × (1-)2-4 cm, leathery; secondary veins numerous, obliquely parallel, slender and indistinct; tertiary veins and veinlets reticulate, ± visible under hand lens, base cuneate, apex acuminate or long acuminate to caudate. Pedicel 3-5 mm. Flowers bisexual, solitary, axillary, 5-8.5 cm in diam. Sepals (outer 2 slightly larger than inner 2) orbicular, convex, margin membranous and sometimes white ciliate. Petals white, obovate-cuneate, 3-3.5 cm. Stamens with filaments filiform, 1.5-2 cm; anthers golden-yellow, oblong. Ovary conic, ca. 1.5 cm; style 1-1.5 cm; stigma oblique. Fruit broadly ovoid or laterally depressed globose, ca. 3 × 2.5 cm, dry, longitudinally rugose, with stoutly pointed style at apex, usually dehiscent by 2 valves, with accrescent woody sepals and many persistent filaments at base; stalk robust, 0.8-1.2 cm. Seeds 1-4, ± irregular in shape; coat brown, fragile. Fl. Mar-May, fr. Aug-Oct. 2n = 32." cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. EoL through eFloras
Seed dispersal mechanism
Bloom type
Life cycle of the plant

How to identify this species

For a detailed description, refer to the General Morphology details above

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Type of plant Woody (Tree/Shrub)
Plant height More than 10 feet
Flower color
Flower shape
Floral symmetry Radial Google Images
Phyllotaxy of leaves
Leaf shape
Is the leaf petiolated or sessile?
Is the leaf simple or compound?

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
IUCN Conservation Status Not Evaluated
Indian States in which the species has been documented Assam,Andaman and Nicobar Islands,Bihar,Karnataka,Kerala,Maharashtra,Orissa,Pondicherry,Sikkim,Tamil Nadu,Uttar Pradesh,West Bengal Plant Database of India
Locations at which the species has been documented
Biotic zones inhabited Northeastern Himalayas, Eastern Ghats, Western Ghats, Indo-Gangetic Plain, Outlying Islands
Details about the habitat
Is this species native to India? Yes
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Sub-Himalayan regions?
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Western Ghats? Yes
Is the species indigenous/endemic to Eastern Ghats?

More plants native to India

Species nameCommon nameCommon Hindi namePlant typeNative plantBiotic zone
Abelmoschus moschatusOkra, Abelmosk, Ambrette seeds, Annual hibiscus, Bamia Moschata, Galu Gasturi, Muskdana, Musk mallow, Musk okra, Musk seeds, Ornamental okra, Rose mallow seeds, Tropical jewel hibiscus, Yorka okraमुश्कदाना Mushkdana, कस्तूरीदाना Kasturi-dana, जंगली भिंडी Jangli bhindiYes
Acacia concinnaSoap podशिकाकाई ShikakaiYesNortheastern Himalayas
Eastern Ghats
Western Ghats
Central Deccan Plateau
East Coast
West Coast
Indo-Gangetic Plain
Acrostichum aureumGolden leatherfern, Mangrove fernYesNortheastern Himalayas
Eastern Ghats
East Coast
Indo-Gangetic Plain
Outlying Islands
Aegle marmelosBel, Beli fruit, Bengal quince, Stone apple, Wood appleबेल BelYes
Allium sativumCultivated Garlicलेह्सन LehsanYes
… further results

If no maps are displayed below, it means the required data is absent. Click on "Edit with form" button on top of the page to add this information.
{{#generateMap:Assam,Andaman and Nicobar Islands,Bihar,Karnataka,Kerala,Maharashtra,Orissa,Pondicherry,Sikkim,Tamil Nadu,Uttar Pradesh,West Bengal|Mesua_ferrea_brahma.svg|align=center}}

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Does this species have any medicinal use? Yes

Other plants of the same family having medicinal use:

Species nameCommon nameCommon Hindi nameFamilyAilment typeMedicinal use description
Mesua ferreaCobra saffron, Ceylon ironwood, Indian rose chestnutनाग चम्पा Nag champa, नागकेसर NagkesarClusiaceae
Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
General types of ailments this species is used for treating
Specific ailments for which the species is used
Medicinal systems which use this plant Ayurveda, Folk Medicine
Details of Medicinal use
Parts of the plant used for treatment Root, Leaves, Flower, Seeds Flowers of India
Names of some medicinal active compounds in this plant, if known.
Details of the active chemical compounds found in this plant
Is the molecular basis of the medicinal action known?
Details of molecular basis of action
Are the toxic effects of consumption of this plant known?
Details of the toxic effects of the plant species
Have there been validation/clinical studies related to this plant?
Details of the clinical studies related to the plant species

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant/plant-derived product used in food preparations? Yes User-reported
Part(s) of the plant used in the food preparations
Details of use in food preparations
Does this species have any religious significance?
Religions which mention/give significance to this species
Religious occasions
Details of religious use

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Is this plant cultivated commercially in India? Yes
Uses for which the plant is commercially cultivated Medicinal use, Religious use, Wood Wikipedia
Plant parts of commercial value Stem, Bark, Flower Wikipedia
Products where this plant is used User-reported
Description of use
States where this plant is cultivated commercially
Best period for planting this plant
Best period for harvesting this plant
Method of propagation
Water requirement of this plant
Pests and Diseases affecting this plant during cultivation
Other considerations while cultivating this plant


Pubmed Word cloud

This word cloud is obtained using the tool LigerCat by searching the Pubmed database. LigerCat builds the cloud from the most relevant Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms. Each term's relative size indicates how many times it appears in the PubMed search results. Click on a term to access the full LigerCat cloud, with live PubMed search capabilities. LigerCat has been developed for the Biology of Aging Project.

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  • If there is an error message below, it means that there is no retrievable information available on NCBI
  • If the number of nucleotide sequences is less than 100, very little genomic work has been done on this species. A respectable number of nucleotide sequences is above 10000.
  • Most of the nucleotide sequences may come from three sources:
  1. Studies on single genes, where people try to sequence genes such as some specific dehydrogenases important,say, for tannin production
  2. Sequences of Ribosomal Internal Transcribed Spacer, whose sequence is used for generating molecular phylogenetic trees to establish species relationships
  3. Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) which can tell about which genes are present and expressed in the species at a particular time in the given tissue

{{#queryDB:taxonomy |Mesua ferrea }}

Parameter Value(s) References
See complete references in the References section at the end
Details of modern scientific knowledge available for this species
Are herbarium specimen available for this species?
Institutes having herbarium samples

References

EoL (Web): Encyclopedia of Life entry, Accessdate=2010-10-19


eFloras (Web): eFloras of China, Accessdate=2010-10-19


Flowers of India (Web): Flowers of India entry on Nag Kesar, Accessdate=2010-10-19


Plant Database of India (Web): Plant Database of India, Accessdate=2011-10-08