Location in BHU campus : Commonly found as a hedge plant in many residences including Vice –Chancellor’s residence in the campus where it clipped down to form a beautiful ,dense hedge.
Botanical name : Putranjiva roxburghii Wall. Syn Drypetes roxburghii (Wall.)Hurusawa
Family : Euphorbiaceace
Vernacular / local Name : Bengali-Putranjiva,jiaputa; Hindi-Putranjiva,putijia,jiaputa,juti; Kannada-Amani,putrajiva; Malayalam-Pongalam; Marathi-jeewanputr,putojan; Oriya-Poitundia; Tamil-Irukolli,karupalai; Telugu-Kudrajuvi,kuduru,putrajivika
English /Trade names : Child-life tree,Lucky bean tree,wild olive
An evergreen tree up to 15m high with drooping branches. Bark corky, grey or yellowish studded with /lenticels .Leaves,dark, glossy,oblong or ovate-oblong. Flowers axillary,tiny,without petals,Male and female flowers grow on different trees; male flowers yellowish,appr 3 cm long, in head-like axillary clusters ;female flowers greenish,solitary or in groups of 2 0r 3.Calyx 5-6 cleft,falling off after flowering.Ovary hairy ,3-celled. Fruit a drupe about 1.5 cm long, ellipsoid or ovoid; stone rugose .
The plants are worshipped by Hindu ladies wishing to bear a child and for the long and prosperous life of the child.The tribals of Kota district in Rajasthan make necklaces of fruits and put around the children to protect them from evil spirits .Hindu saints wear necklaces and rosaries made with the fruits .Parents put these rosaries on their children to ward off diseases attributed to evil spirits;hence the vernacular name signifying “life of the child”.
It is used as an ornamental tree for parks and avenues and is one of the best hedge plants after pruning.Wood is used for house building, agricultural implements, toolhandles and turnery .Leaves are used as fodder. Seeds yield a fatty oil used for burning lamps. Leaves and fruits are given in the form of decoction for cold, fever and rheumatism.