What a beautiful name for a tree!? Krishna Kadam…My wait to photograph this tree was over when the safari Jeep in Nagarhole National Park stopped to wait for the elusive Tiger to pass by. The silence of the forest was interspersed by the warning calls of the Langur. As I peered at the tree next to me, I was delighted to see that it was the “Kadam tree” in full bloom. I could not share this delight with anyone in the Jeep as I would be shushed lest I disturb the big cat. To the amusement of others, I clicked pictures of the tree and the flowers to my heart content.
The other common names of Krishna Kadam Tree are Kaim, True Kadamb. In Kannada, it is Kadavala, Kadagada, Kadaani, Kongu, Bengali it is Gulikadam. Botanical name is Mitragyna parvifolia and belongs to Rubiaceae (Coffee) family.
Krishna Kadam Tree is native to India and Sri Lanka and is mentioned in Lord Krishna’s stories. This tree is found growing in the wild abundantly in the dry Vrindavana region of North India.
This tree is often mistaken with the Cadamba (Neolamarckia Cadamba) tree, which is not found in the wild in the Vrindavana region. Lord Krishna liked this tree and is always depicted him dancing with the Gopikas under this tree.
This tree reaches a height of 50 to 75 feet and the branches spread to over 15 feet. The leaves are dark green, smooth, rounded, and grows opposite to each other.
The flowers are fragrant, yellow, and bloom in ball-shaped clusters between April and June.
Birds and Bats like the taste of the fruit of this tree.
Each part of the Krishna Kadam Tree is used as a medicine to treat many ailments. The sap of the leaves is used by tribals to treat diseases.
The timber of the tree is also very useful.