Butter Tree

Location in BHU campus :Can be found growing along road side in Hostel road .

Botanical name : Madhuca longifolia (Koenig)Macbride var latifolia Chev
                              Syn Bassia latifolia Roxb
                              B. longifolia Koenig
                             M.latifolia(Roxb.) MacBride
                            M.indica J F Gmel.

Family : Sapotaceae

Vernacular / local Name : Bengali- Mahwa,maul,mahula,mahua; Gujarati- Mahuda,mahua; Hindi- Mahua,mohwa,mauwa; Kannada- Hippe; Malayalam- Ilupa,poonam; Marathi- mahuaMahwa,mohwra; Oriya- Mahual,moha,madgi; Tamil- Elupa,illupei; Telugu- Ippa.

English /Trade names : Butter tree

A large or medium sized deciduous tree,12-18m high with rounded crown .Bark grey ,brown or blackish with shallow cracks.Leaves about 8-23 x4-11 cm long,coriaceous,elliptic,clustered near the end of branchlets and contains milky juice.

Flowers in dense clusters,tubular,fleshy,creamcoloured,about 1.5cm long,scented.Fruit a berry,ovoid ,2.5cm-5 cm long,reddish yellow or orange when ripe.


Fruiting: June-August

  • Sacred value
  • This tree is associated with the star Revati (one of the stars in the almanac) and the presiding deity is Pusha.The plant is considered sacred to Bhils.

  • Uses
  • Corolla and berries are eaten raw or cooked.The syrup extracted from the corolla is suitable for use in jams and sweetmeats and also as a substitute for honey.A favourite country liquor is also distilled from the corollas.A spirit distilled from the flower is a stimulant and appetizer.The oil from the seeds is used as an adulterant for ghee and hence the common name Butter tree.The oil is also used for the manufacture of soaps and candles.Wood is used for furniture,sportsgoods,house building and agricultural implements.

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