When stepping onto the Somaiya Vidyavihar campus in Mumbai, most visitors are amazed at the greenery. For us, every tree is valuable. Besides providing clean air to breathe, and cool shade, the greenery in the campus creates a sense of community.
This particular tree would be familiar to passers-by who walk on the quiet lane near K J Somaiya College of Arts and Commerce. For some, in a hurry to reach the class or the tracks, chances are of walking past it and not noticing it.
Dr Sugandha Shetye, K J Somaiya College of Science & Commerce says “The lush tree has sweet-scented pink flowers in drooping racemes. The tree, Barringtonia acutangula, also known as freshwater mangrove and colloquially as Tiwar typically grows along the rivers and is very rarely found in Mumbai. The flowers bloom only during night and wilt in the morning.”
Different parts of Barringtonia acutangula such as leaves, fruit, roots and axillary bud have been used traditionally to treat pains in the body, eye ailments, abdominal disturbances, blood impurities, cold, and asthma, diseases of liver, spleen and for diabetes. The root and leaves of Barringtonia acutangula possess hypolipidemic, antibacterial and antifungal activity respectively in various animal studies.
The flora on our campus remains integral to its beauty. The diversity of trees reflects our history and growth.