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NATURE & GASTRONOMY

 

 

 

  Star Flower Tree

 

Myanmar

The Star Flower Tree, which in Thailand is known as phikun (fig.), is a medium-sized, ornamental, evergreen tree, which grows to a height of up to 25 meters. It is found in throughout Southeast Asia and since it provides dense shade it is regularly found in temple yards.

 

In Burmese, this tree is known as hkray bain, a term also used for the circular ornament with horizontal radiating beams (fig.), which can sometimes be found underneath the multi-layered royal umbrella atop a bell-shaped zedi.

 

  Star Flower Tree

 

  Star Flower Tree

 

Its elongated oval leaves are pointed, glossy and bright to dark green in colour, and between 5 to 14 centimeters in length and around 2.5 to 6 centimeters wide. The dark brownish black to grayish black bark is thick with striations and some cracks on the surface.

 

Its ovoid fruit is softly hairy and khaki green in colour when young, somewhat reminiscent of the fruit of the Lagerstroemia, which in Thai is known as ton inthanin (fig.), but when ripe, it is bright red-orange, smooth and edible (fig.). Its tiny flowers are creamy white (fig.).

 

  Star Flower Tree