Common Names: Thoongumoonjimaram,Rain tree,Monkey pod
Flowering Period: March – May
Large, spreading, the Rain Tree is easily recognised by its umbrella like canopy of evergreen, feathery foliage and puffs of pink flowers. It often reaches a height of 27 m. and the strong, spreading branches may be nearly as long
. The bark is dark grey, often bearing horizontal weals and the trunk frequently branches quite low down. From March to May and again towards the end of the year the green canopy is dotted all over with pink and white. During the rest of the year, too, there are usually quite a few flowers to be seen.
The flowers appear like round, silken tufts, but each flower stalk bears one central and a surrounding circlet of florets, up to twenty in number. Each has a tube-shaped calyx and a tiny, yellow-lobed, crimson trumpet; bunches of long stamens, half pink and half white, protrude from each.
Due to its dense canopy, rain treeis planted in plantations as shade tree for coffee, cacao, and other crops.
Medicinally, the plant is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, stomach pain, and sore throat. It is also used as a laxative. The pods can be eaten, and the pulp can be made into drink.