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Common Name : Glory Bower     -       Scientific Name : Clerodendrum phlomidis Agnimantha (Verbanaceae/ Lamiaceae)       -       Other Name : Gas Pinna (S), Agnimantha (Sanskrit)
Maila Villu to Palugahathure
08/19/2017
Maila Villu to Palugahathure
08/19/2017

This is a large shrub or a small tree found in the arid areas of the country. It is native to Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Myanmar.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Near Threatened” (National Red List 2012).

Most Indian text refers to the flower colour of this species as pure white or yellowish white. However in Sri Lanka they are bright pink in as depicted in the images above. I also found the flowers to be very fragrant.

This species is referred to as a highly valued medicinal plant since the Vedic period. The dried roots of this species are used in the preparation of the famed “Dasha Moola” referred to in ancient Ayurveda. Dasha Moola is said to be a very powerful combination of roots of the ten most valued plant species in Ayurveda. It is prescribed to improve body vigor and maintain good health. In ancient times the woody sticks of this plant has been used to create fire by rubbing together. In Sanskrit “Agni” means fire and “mantha” means to shake thus the name “Agnimantha”. The dried roots of this plant are used to treat many ailments including inflammation, Hemorrhoids, digestive impairments and Urinary obstructions. Pulp obtained by crushing the leaves of this species is applied externally to treat swelling.

This species is found in the arid areas of Wilpattu and flowers can be observed between July and August. I have observed this species at Mollikulama, Marichchakaddi and between Maila Villu to Palugahathure on the Mannar Road.