Friday, February 11, 2011

Madhavi Lata

This season the Madhavi Lata is in full bloom. Its wonderful fragrance has filled the surroundings as well as our hearts.

I found some amazing information about this flower seen rarely these days....

Madhavi lata, native from India to the Philippines, is a vine like plant that is often cultivated in the tropics for its attractive and fragrant flowers. A woody climbing shrub with clusters of pink to white and yellow fragrant flowers and 3-winged, helicopter-like fruits. Flowers have very interesting shape and look like a decorative accessory, with fluffy-toothed edges. The fragrance is very strong and pleasant, resembles fruity perfume. Leaves are narrow and drooping. This plant can be trimmed as a bush, and can be crown in container, too. Used medicinally in India. Make sure to provide lots of light for profuse blooming. The genus name, Hiptage, is derived from the Greek hiptamai, which means "to fly" and refers its unique three-winged fruit known as "samara". The fruit is carried by wind because of its papery wings.
Medicinal uses: The bark, leaves and flowers are aromatic, bitter, acrid, astringent, refrigerant, vulnerary, expectorant, cardiotonic, anti-inflammatory and insecticidal. They are useful in burning sensation, wounds, ulcers, cough, asthma.

This tree also has a importance in mythological stories.....

In stories of Krishna, Madhavi-lata is found every where in Vrindavan, and creates a wonderful atmosphere with its fragrance and the three-colored flowers:

"This forest has Atimukta-trees, therefore the chariot makers resort to it (chariots are made of the wood), the makers of Madhavi-garlands like it (Atimukta means Madhavi flower) and those who desire liberation come here (to Vrindavana; (Atimukta means completely liberated).

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