Synonyms: Mesua nagessarium (Burm.) Kost.
Growth Habit: Tree
Bangla/Vernacular Name: Nageswar, Nagkesar, Muralia (Sylhet).
Tribal Name: Naksawi (Chakma), Khimdi (Garo),Seutump (Khumi), Siprun (Marma), Kaingo (Mogh), Tumpao (Murang), Gango (Rakhaing).
English Name: Ceylon Ironwood.
A medium-sized to large evergreen tree with a dense conical crown. Leaves oblong-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, red when young. Flowers white with 4 petals, fragrant, in axillary or terminal, solitary or in pairs. Fruit ovoid with a conical point.
A number of interesting biogenetically related constituents, viz., coumarins, xanthones, flavonoids, a few terpenoids and steroids have been isolated from various parts of the plant and its seed oil. Young fruits contain an oleoresin from which a very fragrant (similar to the flowers) essential oil is obtained. Seeds contain a fixed oil consisting of esters of palmitic, palmitoleic, stearic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids. Seeds are also rich in protein and amino acids. A coumarin, named mesuarin, has been isolated from the seed oil. Flowers contain essential oil and bitter principles, mesuol and mesuone. Stamens contain essential oil and bitter principles, mesuol and mesuone; a carboxylic acid, mesuanic acid, ß-amyrin, ß-sitosterol and a cyclohexadione compound, mesuaferrol.
A novel flavanone glycoside, mesuein, has been isolated from the leaves. Stem bark contains betulinic acid, (-)-epicatechin, 1, 6-dihydroxyxanthone, pyrano-jacareeubin and two novel bis-xanthones (Ghani, 2003). Two new pigments -mesuaxanthone A and masuaxanthone B and euxanthone have been isolated from heartwood and a new 4-alkylcoumaron-ferruol A has been isolated from trunk bark (Rastogi & Mehrotra, 1990 & 93).
Chittagong and Chittagong Hill Tracts and Sylhet, rather rare in occurrence in natural forests. Also planted as ornamental plant in gardens and parks.
Return from Mesua ferrea L. to Ethnobotany Plants profile.