Did you know that Polyalthia Longifolia or The Mast Tree is one of the prime choices of landscape designers. This lofty evergreen tree, native in India is commonly planted due to its effectiveness in alleviating noise pollution. It is evergreen, tall and slender tree grows symmetrically and produces fresh and shining green foliage. The trees are known to grow over 30 ft in height and are commonly mistaken as the Ashoka tree (Saraca Indica) due to the very close resemblance of both trees. The Polyalthia Longifolia can be found natively in India and Sri Lanka and are introduced in gardens of many tropical countries in the world. The fresh leaves of Polyalthia Longifolia are coppery brown in colour as well as soft and delicate to touch. The colour changes to a light green and a dark green as the leaves grow older.The leaves have a wavy edges besides its lance-like shaped.
In the springtime, the tree is covered by a delicate star-like pale green flowers. Unfortunately, the flowers only last for a short period, usually two to three weeks and are not visible due to its colour.Meanwhile the fruit are borne in clusters of 10-20. Green at first but turned into purple or black when ripe. The leaves are good and for ornamental decoration and used in festivals. The tree is a main attraction in gardens throughout India. The tree can be cut into various shapes and maintained in required sizes. In past, the flexible, straight and light-weight trunks were used in the making of masts for sailing ships. That is why, the tree is also known as the Mast Tree. Today, it is mostly used for manufacturing small articles such as pencil boxes etc.
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