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Kanyakumari | Nagercoil | Chennai
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Shala tree is a large sub deciduous tree. It is up to 30 meter high. Shala tree tree is seldom completely leafless. It has large leathery leaves and yellowish flowers. They have tough texture. Young trees have a linear crown, which becomes rounder and flatter with aging. The sapwood is whitish in colour, thick and is less durable. The heartwood becomes dark brown to black in colour on exposure. The wood pores are filled with resin.


Shala tree tree requires well drained, moist and sandy loam soil. It can grow in type type of temperature. It is mostly propagated through cuttings. In dry conditions it sheds it leaves from February to March. New leaves appear in the month of April and May. The flowers mature into fruit in summers and the seeds ripen in June -July.


The leaves of the Shala tree tree are used by the tribal people for preparing rice cakes and for smoking. The leaves are used to make platters, bowls, small baskets and many more. Distilled leaves produce an oil which is used in perfumery. It is also used in flavouing chewing gums and tobacco. Its dried and fallen leaves are used as fertilizers. It is used for caulking ships and boats. The oil that comes out from its seed is edible and is known as Shala tree butter. It is often used in cooking and for the burning in the oil lamps. The seeds of the Shala tree tree are used for fat extraction. Its oil is even used for adulterating ghee. Tribal people give marriage invitation in the form of folded Shala tree leaves, with the little bit of turmeric and rice inside it.

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