Location in BHU campus : Planted in many residences ,hostels ,Botanical,and Ayurvedic gardens .
Botanical name : Nyctanthes arbor-tristis L.
Family : Oleaceae /Verbenaceae/Nyctanthaceae
The flowers open during night and fall off the tree in the morning-hence probably the specific name arbor-tristis. Owing to its drooping branches it is called tree of sorrow and coral jasmine because of coral –like orange tubed flowers. Parijata the Sanskrit name means descending from the sea.
Vernacular / local Name : Bengali-Sephalika, seoli; Gujarati-Jayaparvati; Hindi-Harsinghar; Kannada-Harsingh, parijata; Malayalam-Pavizhamalli, parijatakam; Marathi-Khurasli, parojatak; Oriya-Godokodiko, gunjoseyoli; Sanskrit–parijata, sephalika; Tamil-Manjhapu; pavazhamalligai; Telugu-Kapilanagadustu, pagadamalle .
English names : Night jasmine.Coral jasmine,Tree of sorrow/sadness
A shrub or small tree up to 10 m high with drooping quadrangular branchlets.
Bark pale or dark greyLeavesopposite ,6-12x3.5 cm ,rough,margin entire or toothed and stiff white hairs.Flowers fragrant ,1.5 cm to 2.5 cm across,white with orange corolla tube ,in fascicles of 3-5 arranged in terminal trichotomous cymes.It flowers in dusk.
Stamens 2 ,anthers short stalked.Fruit a capsule,about 2 cm across ,flat ,orbicular,2 seeded.Seeds flattened.
Flowering :Starts in August and peaking in September- October.Flowers bloom at dusk.
Fruiting: November to February.
According to Hindu mythology Parijata is regarded as one of the five wish granting trees of Devaloka. The tree was created when the ocean of milk was churned and Indra the chief of Gods took it to heaven. Lord Krishna brought it to earth to please his wife Satyabhama.This shrub was a princess Parijataka who fell in love with Sun but was deserted.So she burnt herself and the shrub arose from her ashes. Hence the plant flowers only at night as it cannot tolerate Sun.
This flower is one of the few species which can be collected from ground after it has fallen from the tree and offered in worship!
The flowers are offered Lord Ganapathi ,Satyanarayana,Samba and Swarnagowri when performing their respective vratas.
An orange coloured dye obtained from flowers is used for colouring silk and cotton fabric. Flowers are used in worship. The rough leaves are used for polishing wood and utensils. It spreads quickly in denuded Himalayan slopes and hence used for afforesting. Bark is used for tanning leather.