Broken Bones Tree is a species of flowering plant belonging to the monotypic genus Oroxylum
and the family Bignoniaceae, and is commonly called midnight horror, oroxylum, Indian trumpet flower, broken bones, Indian caper, or tree of Damocles.
It can reach a height of 18 metres (59 ft). Various segments of the tree are used in traditional medicine.
Broken Bones Tree is a native tree often grown as an ornamental for its strange appearance. The long, podded fruits hang down from bear branches, looking like dangling sickles or swords in the night. The tree is also a night-bloomer and is pollinated naturally by bats. Additionally, after the large leaf stalks wither, they fall off the tree and collect near the base of the trunk, appearing to look like a pile of broken limb bones. It is a medium sized deciduous tree, growing 8-12 m tall. The bark is grayish brown with corky lenticels. The leaves are huge, 0.5-1.5 m long, 2-3 pinnate, leaflets 12 cm long and 8 cm broad. The flowers are reddish- purple outside and pale, spinkish-yellow within, numerous, in large erect racemes. The fruits are flat capsules, 0.33-1 meter long and 5-10 cm broad, sword-shaped. The seeds numerous, flat and winged all around, except at the base. Flowering: June-July.
The tree is often grown as an ornamental plant for its strange appearance. Materials used include the wood, tannins and dyestuffs.
It is a plant with edible leaves and stems. The large young pods, known as Lin mai
or Lin fa
in Loei, are eaten especially in Thailand and Laos. They are first grilled over charcoal fire and then the bitter inner pulp is usually scraped and eaten along with lap. Known as karongkandai among the Bodos of north east India, its flowers and fruit are eaten as a bitter side dish with rice. It is often prepared with fermented or dried fish and believed by them to have medicinal uses. The pods also eaten by Chakma people in Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh and India.
seeds are used in traditional Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. Root bark is one of the ingredients thought to be useful in compound formulations in Ayurveda and other folk remedies.