Indian Tree of Heaven is a medium to tall evergreen rainforest tree in Asia and Australia. The wood may be used for matchwood and plywood. The tree is known as halmaddi
in India, where its resin, also called halmaddi
, may be used in incense. Inappropriate extraction methods were resulting in trees dying, so by the 1990s the Indian forestry department had banned extraction.
Indian Tree of Heaven is a large deciduous tree, 18-25 m tall; trunk straight, 60-80 cm in diameter; bark light grey and smooth, becoming grey-brown and rough on large trees, aromatic, slightly bitter. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, large, 30-60 cm or more in length; leaflets 8-14 or more pairs, long stalked, ovate or broadly lance shaped from very unequal base, 6-10 cm long, 3-5 cm wide, often curved, long pointed, hairy gland; edges coarsely toothed and often lobed. Flower clusters droop at leaf bases, shorter than leaves, much branched; flowers many, mostly male and female on different trees, short stalked, greenish-yellow. Five sepals, 5 narrow petals spreading 6 mm across. Fruit a 1-seeded samara, lance shaped, flat, pointed at ends, 5 cm long, 1 cm wide, copper red, strongly veined, twisted at the base The genus name Ailanthus
comes from ailanthos
(tree of heaven), the Indonesian name for Ailanthus moluccana
. Flowering: January-March.
Bark used in India as a powerful fever-cure and tonic. Leaves and bark in good repute as a tonic after labor, and the juice of the leaves and fresh bark employed by the Konkans as a remedy for after-pains. The bark and leaves are renowned as a tonic and appetitive, especially in debility after childbirth, and possess febrifuge properties. The bark is employed in dyspepsia and diarrhoea as well as to relieve cough and bronchitis. In Vietnam, the leaves are recommended in cephalalgia and gastralgia.