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Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers.

Lagerstroemia speciosa (L.) Pers.

Family

Lythraceae

Synonyms

Lagerstroemia flos-reginae Retz.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Bungor raya (Peninsular), bongor biru (Malay, Sarawak), tibabah (Dusun Banggi, Sabah).
English Pride of India, queen of flowers.
Indonesia Bungur (General), bungur tekuyung (Palembang, Sumatra), ketangi (Javanese).
Thailand Chuang-muu, tabaek dam (Central), inthanin nam (Central, Peninsular).
Philippines Banaba (Filipino).
Myanmar Gawkng-uchyamang.
Vietnam B[awf]ng l[aw]ng n[uw][ows]c.

Geographical Distributions

Lagerstroemia speciosa is found in Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, China, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, the Philippines and Sulawesi; also cultivated within this region and in many other tropical countries.

Description

Lagerstroemia speciosa is a deciduous or semi-deciduous shrub or small to medium-sized or rarely large tree, which can reach up to 40(-45) m tall. The bole is fairly straight to crooked,  branchless for up to 18 m, measuring up to 100(-150) cm in diametre, often fluted and sometimes with small buttresses. The surface of the bark is smooth or with small papery flakes, grey to light fawn-brown mottled, with fibrous inner bark, grey-fawn to yellow and turns dirty mauve or purple upon exposure. The crown is usually bushy and spreading.

The leaves are arranged opposite, distichous, simple and entire. The stipules are minute or absent. The flowers are in a large, axillary or terminal panicle and often showy. The sepal is funnel- or bell-shaped and 6(-9)-lobed. There are usually 6 petals which are inserted near the mouth of the sepal tube. They are white to pink or purple, clawed and wrinkled. The stamens are many and in several rows. The ovary is superior, 3-6-locular with many ovules in each cell and with 1 style.

The fruit is a large and woody capsule that is seated on the persistent sepal. The seed is with an apical wing. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The emergent cotyledons are leafy and 2-lobed. The hypocotyl is elongated where the first few leaves are arranged alternately, which becomes subopposite and eventually opposite.

Ecology / Cultivation

Most Lagerstroemia species are found at low to medium altitudes in comparatively open habitats, in disturbed or secondary forests, grasslands, and are especially common along rivers. Most species are scattered but may become locally dominant. The habitat may vary from well-drained to occasionally flooded, but not peaty.

Line Drawing / Photograph

Lagerstroemia_speciosa

References

  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers.

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