Monday, November 30, 2009

Banaba a Family of the Crape Myrtle.

Banaba, with scientific name Lagerstroemia Speciosa, is a tree that is both considered as ornamental and medicinal. I googled its scientific name and discovered that according to Wikipedia, Banaba is also known as Giant Crape-Myrtle or Queen's Crape-Myrtle. How cool is that! Did you know that there are many varieties of Crape Myrtle in the world and that they are one of the most beautiful trees you will ever find in this planet? After all, the word "speciosa" in latin means "the beautiful". That is why in the Philippines, Banaba is widely planted as a landscaping material especially along parks and roadsides.

If you are familiar with the Filipino term Pito-Pito, which literally means seven-seven or seven herbal ingredients, Banaba leaves is included to create an effective poultice or tea to treat light to moderate sickness such as fever, diarrhea, asthma and many more. I have even read an article that every part of this tree from the leaves, roots and bark contain medicinal properties in preventing cancer.


cristeta said...

where can we find seedlings for banaba tree? how can we propagate this tree?

Rico said...

Hi, Cristeta! The Manila Seedling bank in Quezon City probably sells Banaba seedlings in their nursery.

I haven't tried propagating Banaba from cuttings, but I am sure that you can propagate them by marcotting/air layering or by germinating seeds.

In case you are able to collect the seeds (dehiscent) to germinate, try to use a sandy loam soil for good drainage and for the roots to anchor properly into the soil. Germinants start very small so it is crucial that the first stages of it's life is meticulously watched over and cared for to prevent over watering or drying. You can water the germinants by mist spraying to avoid any disturbance in the soil as it is too fragile and minute. One tip to address this problem is to cover the germinants with an inverted cut-out of a mineral bottle in order to protect the seedlings inside from the elements and even insects that can easily damage it. Once the seedlings reach 3-4 inches in height, taking care of them will be much easier.

Thank you for posting your query. I hope that I have answered your question.

Elorise said...

This is a nice blog, hope you keep it up. :)

Rico said...

Elorise, thanks for the compliment! :)

Anonymous said...

nice blog.

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