HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT

Family Fabaceae
Pride of Burma
Amherstia nobilis Wall.
Yingluo mu

Scientific names Common names
Amherstia nobilis Wall. Amherstia (Engl.)
  Orchid tree (Engl.)
  Flame amherstia (Engl.)
  Pride of Burma (Engl.)
  Queen of flowering trees (Engl.)
  Tree of heaven (Engl.)
Amherstia nobilis Wall. is an accepted species. KEW: Plants of the World Online
Amherstia nobilis is the only member of the genus Amherstia.

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Urbasi.
CHINESE: Yingluo mu.
GERMANY: Tohabaum.
MALAYALAM: Shimshipavrisham, Shimshipa viruksham.
MYANMAR: Thawka, Thawka-gyi.
SRI LANKA: Kukul kakul.
TAMIL: Urvasi maram.

Gen info
- Amherstia nobilis, called the Pride of Burma or the Queen of Flowering Trees, is a  tropical tree in the family Fabaceae. It is the only member of the genus Amherstia.
- The genus name Amherstia commemorates Lady Amherst, wife of a British governor of India.
It is said it also celebrates Lady Amherst's pheasant and her daughter Sarah.
- Used as floral offerings in Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka and Burma.

• Amherstia is a medium-sized tree with large showy flowers. Leaves are compound, with 6 to 8 large leaflets, broadly oblong and pallid underneath. Flowers hung from long pendulous clusters. scarlet and dotted with saffron yellow accents. Leaves when young are reddish purple; large mature leaves have white undersides. Fruits are scimitar-shaped pods,11 to 20 centimeters long, with a woody outer case that opens to disperse the seeds.

- Introduced in the Philippines before WW II.
- Ornamental cultivation.

- Rare in the wild.
- Considered nearly endangered due to over-harvesting and difficulty of cultivation. (4)
- Native to Myanmar and Thailand.

- GC-MS analysis of ethanolic leaf extract yielded 27 chemical compounds. Major constituents were phenol, 2,4-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl), eicosane, tetradecanoic acid, 3-heptadecanol, neophytadiene, phytol. (see study below) (3)
- Study of flowers isolated three anthocyanins, cyanidin 3-O-glucoside (1), 3-O-xyloside (2), and peonidin 3-Oglucoside (3).and eight flavonols, isorhamnetin 3-O-glucoside (4), 7-O-glucoside (5), 3,7-di-O-glucoside (6) and 3-O-rutinoside (7), quercetin 3-O-rutinoside (8) and 3-O-glucoside (9), and kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside (10) and 3-O-glucoside (11).  (8)
- Study of mature leaves isolated three flavonols, two flavones, and six C-glucosylflavones, identified as: quercetin 3-O-glucoside (1), 3′-O-glucoside (2) and 3-O-xyloside (3) (flavonols), luteolin 7-O-glucoside (4) and tricin 7-O-glucoside (5) (flavones), vitexin (6), isovitexin (7), vitexin 2''-O-xyloside (8), isovitexin 2''-O-xyloside (9), vitexin 2''-O-glucoside (10) and vitexin 2''-O-rhamnoside (11) (C-glycosylflavones), and cyanidin 3-O-glucoside (12), 3-O-xyloside (13) and peonidin 3-O-glucoside (14) (anthocyanins). (9)

- Understudied.
- Unable to produce seeds to develop into true offspring. Difficult to propagate by seedlings. The alternative method is air-layering. (
- Studies have suggested antibacterial, anti-biofilm, antidiabetic properties.

Parts used


- Young leaves and flowers reported as edible.
- No reported medicinal use in the Philippines.
- In Western Ghats, south India, decoction of leaves or leaf juice used for treatment of diabetes.

Antibacterial / Leaves:
Study evaluated the antibacterial effect of 70% ethanol extract of leaves of Amherstia nobilis using disc diffusion method in Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli. Results showed maximum zone of inhibition against S. aureus and P. aeruginosa. (see constituents above (3)
Silver Nanoparticles / Anti-Marine Biofilm / Leaves: Study reports on the synthesis of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) using Amherstia nobilis leaf extract and evaluated the synthesized NPs for anti-marine biofilm activity. Results showed the NPs were effective against biofilm formation of microbes such as marine B. subtilis and marine E. coli. (5)
Silver Nanoparticles / Antibacterial / Leaves: Study reports on the eco-friendly and cost-cost effective synthesis of silver nanoparticles using an aqueous extract of A. nobilis leaves as reductant and capping agent. The AgNPs were tested against bacteria and fungi including Candida albicans, Micrococcus luteus, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Staphylococcus aureus. Zone inhibition results showed the AgNPs colloids possessed better antimicrobial potential compared to the aqueous leaf extract. (6)
Antidiabetic Nanoparticles / Antibacterial / Leaves: Study evaluated the invitro inhibitory activity of ethanol extracts of various Caesalpiniaceae plants against pig pancreatic amylase. Amherstia nobilis extract exhibited 70.44% inhibition of α-amylase with IC50 of 113.34 µg/mL at 300 µg/ml compared to acarbose at 84,32 µg/mL and IC50 of 14.17 µg/mL. (10)

- Cultivated.
- Plants and seeds in the cybermarket.

Updated November 2023
May 2020

                                                   PHOTOS / ILLUSTRATIONS
IMAGE SOURCE: Photographs: Amherstia nobilis (1) Pendulous cluster (2) Flower closup / © Scott Mori / Nathaniel Lord Britton Curator of Botany at The New York Botanical Garden / images were taken at the Botanical Garden in Rio de Janeiro / click on image to go to source page / NYBG
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph: Flowers  / Noncommercial use / © nurseyLIVE
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph: Pod  - Amherstia nobilis / © Botanic Guru / / Noncommercial use / Image modified / click on image or link to go to source page / Botanic Guru

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Amherstia nobilis / The Plant

GC-MS analysis and antibacterial activity of Amherstia nobilis. W leaf extract / TJ Jasna, Dr Sreedharren / International Journal of Herbal Medicine, 2018; 6(6): pp 101-105 / Corpus ID: 210115494
Pride Of Burma Information : How To Grow A Pride Of Burma Tree / Bonnie L Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
EFFECT OF SILVER NANOPARTICLES SYNTHESIZED USING AQUEOUS LEAF EXTRACT OF AMHERSTIA NOBILIS ON MARINE BIOFILMS / Meenakshi K., Pracheta Salunkhe and Indu A.G./ Plant Archiv, 2018; Vol 18, No 1: pp 251-256 / ISSN: 0972-5210
THERAPEUTIC PLANTS USED BY THE NATIVE VILLAGERS OF NORTHEAST KERALA PART OF WESTERN GHATS / Raghunathan M / European Journal of Pharmaceutical and Medical Research, 2017; 4(11): pp 602-609 / ISSN: 2394-3211
Anthocyanins and flavonols from the flowers of Amherstia nobilis endemic to Myanmar / Tsukasa Iwashina, Nobuyuki Tanaka, Mu Aung, Takayuki Mizuno / Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 2019; 86: 103906 / DOI:10.1016/j.bse.2019.05.014
Flavonoids and anthocyanins from the leaves of the Pride of Burma (Amherstia nobilis)
/ Tsukasa Iwashina, Nobuyuki Tanaka, Mu Aung, Hari Prasad Devkota / Biochemical Systematics and Ecology, 2022; 101: 104391 / DOI:10.1016/j.bse.2022.104391

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants
                                          New plant names needed
The compilation now numbers over 1,300 medicinal plants. While I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to the collection, they are becoming more difficult to find. If you have a plant to suggest for inclusion, native or introduced, please email the info: local plant name (if known), any known folkloric medicinal use, scientific name (most helpful), and, if possible, a photo. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

HOME      •      SEARCH      •      EMAIL    •     ABOUT