Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers., Synops. 2 (1807)

Latin for 'showy', referring to the flowers.

Adambea glabra Lam.
Adambea hirsuta Lam.
Lagerstroemia augusta Wall. [Invalid]
Lagerstroemia flos-reginae Retz.
Lagerstroemia hirsuta (Lam.) Willd.
Lagerstroemia macrocarpa Wall. [Invalid]
Lagerstroemia major Retz.
Lagerstroemia munchausia Willd.
Lagerstroemia plicifolia Stokes
Lagerstroemia reginae Roxb.
Munchausia speciosa L.
Murtughas hirsuta (Lam.) Kuntze

Sub-canopy tree up to 26(-45) m tall and 61(-150) cm dbh. Stipules absent. Leaves oposite to slightly alternate, simple, penni-veined, glabrous. Flowers ca. 45 mm diameter, blue-purple, placed in erect panicles. Fruits ca. 22 mm long, green-yellow-brown, dehiscent capsules splitting in six elongate parts. Seeds small, winged.

A deciduous or semi-deciduous small to medium-sized or rarely large tree up to 40(45) m tall; bole fairly straight to crooked, branchless for up to 18 m, up to 100(-150) cm in diameter, often fluted and sometimes with small buttresses, bark surface smooth or with small papery flakes, grey to light fawn-brown mottled, inner bark fibrous, grey-fawn to yellow, turning dirty mauve or purple upon exposure; crown usually bushy and spreading. Leaves opposite, distichous, simple, entire, stipules minute or absent. Flowers in a large, axillary or terminal panicle, often showy, calyx funnel or bell shaped, 6(9) lobed, petals often 6, inserted near the mouth of the calyx tube, white to pink or purple, clawed, wrinkled, stamens many, in several rows, ovary superior, 3-6 locular with many ovules in each cell, style 1. Fruit a large woody capsule on the persistent calyx. Seed with an apical wing. [from]

In open vegetation types, often coastal areas, in regrowth or in swamps, also planted a lot. Usually on alluvial sites and along rivers with sandy to clay soils at medium altitudes. Trees shed leaves in the dry season. Saplings flower when only a few years old but viable seed production begins at 15 years old. Flowering is frequent, usually annually or even twice a year. Each flower lasts for only 2-3 days. In the Philippines, the tree flowers in April-June, in Java in July- October, and in Papua New Guinea in May-July, although flowers and fruits may be found throughout the year. Pollination is by large bees and seeds are dispersed by wind.

Ornamental. Also used for fire wood. The timber is resistant to termites. Roots, stems and leaves contain hydrocyanic acid (poisenous). A decoction of the bark is used against diarrhoea and abdominal pains. A leaf poultice is used to relief malarial fever and is applied on cracked feet. A preparation from dried leaves, known as banaba, is widely used in the Philippines to treat diabetes and urinary problems. Due to the tree¡¯s dense and widespreading root system, it is used in erosion control.

Pan-tropical. Originally from India and southern China to New Guinea and Australia.

Local names
Borneo: Anunang, Bongor biru, Bungor, Bungur, Linang, Nunang, Sagawang, Tibabah.
Burmese: gawkng-uchyamang.
English: queen's flower, queen of flowers, queen crape myrtle, pride of India.
Filipino: banaba.
Hindi: arjuna, bondaro, challa, ajhar, jarul, varagogu, moto-bhandaro.
Indonesian: bungur.
Javanese: ketangi.
Malay: bongor biru.
Thai: tabaek dam, chuangmuu.
Trade name: pyinma, arjuna.
Vietnamese: b[awf]ng l[aw]ng n[uw][ows]c.