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Family Bignoniaceae

Sirit-sirit
Spathodea campanulata P.Beauv.

AFRICAN TULIP TREE
Huo yan shu

Scientific names  Common names 
Bignonia tulipifera Schum. Sirit-sirit (Tag.)
Bignonia tulipifera Thonn. African tulip tree (Engl.)
Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv. Fire bell (Engl)
Spathodea danckelmaniana Buettner Fire tree (Engl.)
Spathodea nilotica Seem. Flame of the forest (Engl.)
Spathodea tulipifera (Schum.) G. Don. Fountain tree (Engl.)
  Nandi flame (Engl.)
  Nile flame (Engl.)
  Scarlet bell flower (Engl.)
Spathodea campanulata P.Beauv. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
BENGALI: Rudra palash.
CHINESE: Huo yan mu, Cu ye jiu ping shu, Huo yan shu, Ao zhou huo yan shu (Taiwan).
FRENCH: Tulipier du Gabon, Abre-flamme.
GERMAN: Afrikanischer Tulpenbaum.
HINDI: Rugtoora.
JAPANESE: Kaenboku.
KANNADA: Neerukayi mara.
MALAY: Panchut-panchut.
MALAYALAM: Phaauntanmaram. Sphaathhoodiya, Sukoottamaram.
MARATHI: Akash shevga.
PORTUGUESE: Bisnagueira, Espatódea, Tulipeira-da-África, Tulipeira-do-Gabao.
RUSSIAN: Spatodeia kolokol'chataia.
SINHALESE: Kudaella gaha, Kudulu.
SPANISH: Amapola, Espatodea, Mampolo, Tulipán africano.
SWAHILI: Kibobakasi, Kifabakazi.
SWEDISH: Afrikanskt tulpanträd.
TAMIL: Patadi.
THAI: Kae sàet.

Botany
Spathodea campanulata is a robust tree, growing to a height of 20 meters, with a dense, dark, shining, green crown. Leaves are pinnately compound, 20 to 25 centimeters long, divided into 5 to 8 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets are elliptic-oblong, 7.5 to 11 centimeters long, and 3.5 to 7 centimeters wide, with a pointed tip, and several glands along the midrib near the base. Flower bud is ampule-shaped and contains water. Flowers are large, bell-shaped, up to 10 centimeters long and 5 centimeters wide, borne in terminal, erect inflorescences (racemes), with a peculiar smell. Calyx is spathe-like, strongly curved, brownish, velvety-smooth, and split nearly to the base on one side. Corolla is curved, the tube being narrow below, but strongly inflated and 5-lobed above, scarlet or crimson red, with yellow, frilled edges. Pods are firm, thick, dark-brown, and 15 to 20 centimeters long. Seed is about 2.5 centimeters wide, with a broad, silvery white, transparent wing.

Distribution
- Cultivated in the Philippines for ornamental purposes.
- Found in parks, gardens and along roadsides.

- Native of tropical Africa.

In some Tagalog areas, plant referred to as "sirit-sirit" because of the ampule-shaped flower bud containing water, children delighting in the play squirting each other with water. Cup-shaped open flowers holding rain and dew are an attraction for some birds.

Constituents
- Phytochemical studies yield alkaloids, tannin, saponin, steroids, terpenoids, flavonoids.
- Study to analyze the active constituents of the flower yielded four compounds. Butane, 1, 1-diethoxy-3-methyl- (35.11 %) and n-Hexadecanoic acid (30.22%)
were the major constituents of the ethanolic extract. (10)
- Study of stem-bark has yielded spathodic acid, steroids, saponins, ursolic acid, tomentosolic acid and pectic substances.
- Phytochemical screening yielded carbohydrates, alkaloids, tannins, glycosides in the extracts of flowers, and steroids, carbohydrates, proteins, tannins, glycosides, and alkaloids in the bark. (19)

Properties
- Vulnerary, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer.
- Plant stem-bark considered anti-hyperglycemic, anti-malarial, wound healing and antioxidant.
- Studies have shown antimicrobial, hypoglycemic, antimalarial, wound healing, antifungal, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, nephroprotective, antioxidant, anticonvulsant properties.

Parts utilized
Leaves, root-bark, stems, fruit.

Uses
Edibility
• Winged seeds are reported to be edible.
Folkloric

• No reported folkloric use in the Philippines.
• Bark is commonly used as a dressing for ulcers and skin diseases, applied dried, pulverized, or as fresh inner bark. A leaf decoction is used as lotion.
• In Africa, the stem bark is used as a paste for wound healing.
• In Senegal, bruised leaves and flowers are applied to wounds.
• In Gabon, flowers are applied to ulcers.
• In Southern Nigeria, leaves used for convulsions.
• In Gold Coast, bark decoction taken for constipation and gastrointestinal problems and dysentery.
• Cold infusion of leaves used for urethral inflammation.
• In Ghana, the stem bark and leaf used for treatment of dyspepsia and peptic ulcer; leaf, root bark and fruit used for arthritis and fractures; the stem bark used for toothaches and stomachaches; root bark seed used for stomach ulcers.
• In Rwanda, decoction of stem bark used for diabetes.
• In Ayurveda, used for kidney diseases.
• In Jamaican folklore medicine, fluid from immature flower bud used for treatment of glaucoma. (28)
Others
Paper: In Singapore, timber is used for making paper.
Wood: In West Africa, wood used for making drums and blacksmith's bellows.
Arrow Poison: African hunters reported to extract arrow poison from seeds.
Children's Play: Buds contain a watery liquid, which children pierce and squeeze to squirt out the fluid like water pistols.

Dyes: Flowers yield a natural dye, producing a brown solution.

Studies
Antimicrobial / Stem Bark: Extracts of the sun-dried bark of Spathodea campanulata was tested against B. subtilis, E coli, P aeruginosa and S aureus. The methanol extract showed the best antibacterial activity. The antifungal activity of the ME was reduced upon storage while the antibacterial activity was unaffected.(1)
Antibacterial / Bovine Mastitis: Study showed antibacterial activity of methanolic and aqueous extracts against bovine mastitis pathogens. (2)
Antibacterial: Study of petroleum leaf extracts showed good inhibitory activity against Klebsiella pneumonia compared with standard antibiotic Streptomycin.
(3)
Hypoglycemic: Decoction of stem bark of SC showed a hypoglycemic effect in streptozocin-induced diabetic rats and decreased blood glucose in GTT testing. However, there was no effect noted on insulin levels. (4)
Anti-Malarial: Alcoholic extract of leaves of S campanulata showed antiplasmodial activity, more effective in early infection than established one. Results provide scientific basis for use of the aqueous decoction of leaves for treatment of malaria. (5)
Healing Activity / Burn Wounds: Study evaluated the burn healing efficacy of ointment formulation from methanolic extract of barks in experimental burn model in rats. Topical application (2%, 10%, and 49%) dose-dependently decreased the score of damage on the burn site. Results showed a healing activity on burn wounds and provides rational basis for its traditional use in promoting wound healing. (6)
Antifungal: Study of roots of SC yielded an iridoid glycoside (ajugol) and two phenolic derivatives. The phenolic constituents displayed biological activity against C herbarum. (7)
Analgesic / Anti-Inflammatory: Study of leaf extracts of S campanulata showed both analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and presents a potential use for alleviating painful inflammatory conditions. (8)
Anti-Solar: Excessive exposure to sunlight can lead to painful sunburn and other skin-related problems. Study evaluated the UV absorption ability of flowers from Spathodea campanulata as an anti-solar agent. Results showed the plant to have an ability to absorb UV radiation, hence, a UV protection ability, It shows a potential for prophylactic utility in anti-solar formulations and a safer and cheaper alternative to chemical sunscreens. (11)
Anticonvulsant / Glycoside / Leaves: Study of an ethanol leaf extract yielded a glycoside: urs-12-en-27, 30 di-oic acid 3-0--L- rhamnopyranosyl (12) -L- arabinopyranoside. The compound exhibited significant abolition of seizures induced by PTZ and maximal electro shock seizures. (12)
Dye: Study of the flower yielded a dye that can be successfully used for dyeing silk and cotton to obtain a wide range of soft, pastel and light colors with the use of natural and metallic mordants. (13)
Antimicrobial: Study of the ethanol extract of leaf and flower was tested for antimicrobial activity against against gram positive and gram negative organisms like Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas sps, Salmonella typhimurium, Bacillus subtilis, Staphylococcus aureus, Vibrio cholera. Results showed dose-dependent antimicrobial
activity, with the ethanol flower extract showing more potency than the leaf extract. Activity is attributed to flavonoids and tannins. (14)
Wound Healing / Topical Formulation: The wound healing potential of a methanol extract of stem bark was tested in Sprague Dawley rats using an excision wound model. A cream formulation showed wound healing facilitation. Results justified the folkloric use of stem bark for wound treatment. (15)
Nephroprotective: Study of 70% ethanolic extract of bark of Spathodea campanulata in rats showed pretreatment benefits in preventing kidney damage induced by paracetamol nephrotoxicity. (16)
Acute and Sub-Chronic Toxicity Studies: Study evaluated an ethanol extract of leaf for safety in Swiss albino mice. Results obtained in hematological, biochemical, hepatorenal parameters, antioxidant activities and histological findings suggests non-toxicity of the extract. (17)
Hepatoprotective / Stem Bark: Study evaluated the hepatoprotective and curative potential of an aqueous extract of stem bark of S. campanulata in carbon tetrachloride-induced model of hepatotoxicity in rats. Results showed significant reversal of CCl4 hepatic damage in rats. (18)
Phytochemical Screening / Anti-Malarial: Study of organic leaf extracts yielded alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, tannins, steroids, and terpenoids. An ethanol fraction exhibited very good antiplasmodial activity against both chloroquine sensitive and resistant Plasmodium falcifarum isolates. (20)
Antioxidant / Prevention of T-Booh and H2O2-Induced DNA Damage: In this study, antioxidant rich dietary sources in leaves and flowers were used to prevent DNA damage induced by t-butyl hydroperoxide and hydrogen peroxide. The antioxidants present in the ethanol extract of leaves and flowers effectively prevented DNA damage. (21)
Sunscreen / Gel Formulation for UV Protection: Study was designed to prepare sunscreen herbal gel formulations of H. rosa-sinenesis, R. damascena, and Spathodea campanulata. All three flavonoid containing herbal drugs exhibited sunscreen activity which was attributed to the free radical scavenging properties of polyphenols in the extracts. (22)
Larvicidal and Pupicidal Activities Against Dengue Vector Aedes Aegypti: An aqueous leaf extract exhibited potent larvicidal, pupicidal property along with morphogenetic effects against dengue vector Aedes aegypti. Results showed an alternative environmental friendly insecticidal formulation for an effective vector control strategy. (23)
Antioxidant / Nephroprotective / Bark / Gentamicin: Study showed pretreatment with an ethanolic extract of bark may be helpful in preventing damage induced by gentamicin in rat kidneys. (24)
• Antioxidant / Bark and Flowers: Study of S. campanulata bark and flower extracts showed antioxidant activity on lipid peroxidation of liver microsome induced by Fe3-ascorbic acid. The bark extract was 5 times more efficient than the flower extract. Results suggest an antioxidant mechanism other than Fe+ complex formation. (26)
• Acute Oral Toxicity Study / Bark: Study in rats evaluated the acute oral toxicity of herbal extract of S. campanulata bark as per OECD 425 guideline. The bark extract was found safe at dose of 2000 mg/kg. (27)
• Decreased Intraocular Pressure / Fluid from Immature Flower Bud: Study investigated the effect of fluid from immature flower bud on intraocular pressure (IOP) of dogs. Crude sample of the fluid topically applied to the eye elicited a dose dependent response with peak activity (32% reduction in IOP) within 45 minutes of administration. (28)
• Larvicidal / Smoke Repellent Activity Against Malarial Vector A. stephensi: Study evaluated the larvicidal and smoke repellent potential of S. campanulata against malarial vector, Anopheles stephensi. Leaf extracts showed larvicidal and pupicidal activity while leaves and pods showed enhanced activity in smoke repellency test. Results suggest an potential alternative to conventional synthetic insecticides.   (29)

Availability
- Wild-crafted. 
- Seeds in the cybermarket.


Updated June 2017 / October 2013


Photos © Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photograph / Tulip tree flower and Sunbird / © / Ely Teehankee
SOURCES

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
(1)
ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF EXTRACTS AND TOPICAL PRODUCTS OF THE STEM BARK OF SPATHODEA CAMPANULATA FOR WOUND HEALING / Ofori-Kwakye et al / Afr. Jour. Trad. CAM (2009) 6 (2): 168-174
(2)
In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Two Medicinal Plants against Bovine Udder Isolated Bacterial Pathogens from Dairy Herds / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 13: 152-58. 2009./
(3)
In vitro Phytochemical Screening and Antibacterial Activity of Organic Leaf Extracts of Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv against Hospital Isolated Bacterial Strains / Rangasamy Dhanabalan et al / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 1022-28. 2008

(4)
Hypoglycaemic activity of Spathodea campanulata stem bark decoction in mice / G Niyonzima et al / Phytotherapy Research / Volume 7 Issue 1, Pages 64 - 67DOI 10.1002/ptr.2650070115
(5)
The schizontocidal activity of Spathodea campanulata leaf extract on Plasmodium berghei berghei in mice / J M Makinde et al / Phytotherapy Research • Volume 1 Issue 2, Pages 65 - 68 / DOI 10.1002/ptr.2650010205 /
(6)
Healing activity of methanolic extract of the barks of Spathodea campanulata Beauv (Bignoniaceae) in rat experimental burn model / Sy GY, Nongonierma RB, Ngewou PW, Mengata DE, Dieye AM, Cisse A, Faye B. / Dakar Med. 2005;50(2):77-81.
(7)
Iridoid glucoside and antifungal phenolic compounds from Spathodea campanulata roots / Adriana Pianara et al / Ciências Agrárias, Londrina, v. 28, n. 2, p. 251-256, abr./jun. 2007
(8)
Spathodea Campanulata: an Experimental Evaluation of the Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Properties of a Traditional Remedy / Emmanuel E Ilodigwe and Peter A Akah / Asian Journal of Medical Sciences 1(2): 35-38, 2009
(9)
Spathodea campanulata (tree) / Global Invasive Species Database
(10)
Chemical investigation of flower of Spathodea campanulata by GC-MS
/ M.Kumaresan, P.N.Palanisamy, and P.E.Kumar / J. Nat. Prod. Plant Resour., 2011, 1 (2):14-17
(11)
Study of methanolic extract of flower of Spathodea campanulata L. as an anti-solar
/ Vinayak V Patil, S B Patil, et al / Internation Journal of Green Pharmacy, 2009, Vol 3, No 3, Pp 248-249
(12)
Anticonvulsant effects of a glycoside isolated from the leaf of Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv /
Emmanuel E. Ilodigwe, Peter A. Akah, Theophine C. Okoye and Edwin O. Omeje / Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 4(18), pp. 1895-1900, 18 September, 2010
(13)
Dyeing of Cotton and Silk Fabrics Using Flower of Spathodea Campanulata: Effects of Mordanting and Colour Fastness Properties / M.Kumaresan, P.N.Palanisamy, and P.E.Kumar / J. Basic. Appl. Sci. Res., 1(8)933-941, 2011
(14)
Antimicrobial activity of ethanol extract of leaf and flower of Spathodea campanulata P. Beauv / Rajesh Kowti, Harsha. R, Mohammed Gulzar Ahmed, Hareesh AR, Thammanna Gowda SS, Dinesha R, Satish Kumar B1, Irfan Ali M / RJPBCS, July – September 2010, Volume 1 Issue 3 Page No. 691
(15)
WOUND HEALING POTENTIAL OF METHANOL EXTRACT OF SPATHODEA CAMPANULATA STEM BARK FORMULATED INTO A TOPICAL PREPARATION / K. Ofori-Kwakye, A. A. Kwapong, M. T. Bayor / African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative medicines (AJTCAM), Vol 8, No 3 (2011)
(16)
Protective Effect of Spathodea Campanulata Bark against Paracetamol-Induced Nephrotoxicity in Rats /
Abubaker Siddiq, Shanmukha, Rajendra S.V and Ramachandra Setty S / International Journal of PharmTech Research, Vol.4, No.1, pp 398-403, Jan-Mar 2012
(17)
Study of Acute and Sub Chronic Toxicity of Spathodea campanulata P Beav Leaf / Akharaiyi Fred Coolborn, Boboye Bolatito and Adetuyi Fatusa Clement / 2012 International Conference on Environmental, Biomedical and Biotechnology IPCBEE vol.41 (2012) © (2012) IACSIT Press, Singapore
(18)
AQUEOUS STEM BARK EXTRACT OF SPATHODEA CAMPANULATA (P. BEAUV) MODULATES CARBON TETRACHLORIDE INDUCED HEPATIC DAMAGE IN RATS / Charles Ansah, Phyllis Elsie Dadzeasah and Emmanuel Asiamah / American Journal of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Volume 8, Issue 1, Pages 39-50 / DOI : 10.3844/ajptsp.2013.39.50
(19)
COMPARATIVE PHYTOCHEMICAL SCREENING OF FLOWERS AND BARK OF SPATHODEA CAMPANULATA / *ZAHID ZAHEER, ANIRUDDHA P. PAITHANKAR, SAGAR D. DESHPANDE, SUBUR KHAN, RANA. Z. AHMED / International Journal of Applied Biology and Pharmaceutical Technology, Vol 2, No1, Jan-Mar -2011
(20)
Preliminary Phytochemical Screening and Antimalarial Studies of Spathodea campanulatum P. Beauv Leaf Extracts / Rangasamy Dhanabalan*, Asirvatham Doss, Muthusamy Jagadeeswari, Rajamanickam Karthic, Muthusamy Palaniswamy and Jeyaraman Angayarkanni / Ethnobotanical Leaflets 12: 811-19. 2008.
(21)
ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY OF SPATHODEA CAMPANULATA IN PREVENTION OF T­BOOH AND H2O2 INDUCED DNA DAMAGE / RAJESH KOWTI*, VEDAMURTHY JOSHI, PRAKASH DABADI3, THAMMANNA GOWDA S.S, SATISH B.P, DINESHA R / International Journal of Current Pharmaceutical Research, Vol 3, Issue 1, 2011
(22)
Formulation of Gel and Its UV Protective Study of Some Medicinal Flowers / S.B. Patil1*, V.V. Patil1, D.S. Ghodke, M.S. Kondawar, N.S. Naikwade and C.S. Magdum / Asian J. Pharm. Ana. 2011; Vol. 1: Issue 2, Pg 34-35
(23)
Larvicidal, pupicidal activities and morphological deformities of Spathodea campanulata aqueous leaf extract against the dengue vector Aedes aegypti / Mani Saranya, Ramanathapuram Sundaram Mohanraj* and Balasubramaniam Dhanakkodi / European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2013, 3(2):205-213
(24)
ANTIOXIDANT AND NEPHROPROTECTIVE ACTIVITY OF SPATHODEA CAMPANULATA BARK AGAINST GENTAMICIN INDUCED NEPHROTOXICITY / Shanmukha* , Abubaker Siddiq, Gupt Kamlesh, Majam Khan and Ramachandra Setty S. / Pharmacologyonline 1: 666-675 (2010)
(25)
Sorting Spathodea names / Authorised by Prof. Snow Barlow / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1997 - 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(26)
Antioxidant activity of Spathodea campanulata (Bignoneaceae) extracts / Heim, S.C.; Guarnier, F.A.; Ferreira, D.T.; Braz-Filho, R.; Cecchini, R; Cecchini, A.L. / Rev. bras. plantas med. vol.14 no.2 Botucatu 2012 / http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-05722012000200006
(27)
Acute Oral Toxicity Study of Extract of Spathodea Campanulata Bark in Wistar Rats / Neha Palande / J Pharm Sci Bioscientific Res. 2015 5(6):613-616
(28)
The fluid from the immature flower bud of Spathodea campanulata reduces intraocular pressure in dogs /
Channtal L.S. Golding, Manley E West, Marsha-Lyn G McKoy and Everton A Thomas / The FASEB Journal, Vol 25, No 1 Supplement 623.12, April 2011
(29)
LARVICIDAL AND SMOKE REPELLENT ACTIVITIES OF SPATHODEA CAMPANULATA P.BEAUV. AGAINST THE MALARIAL VECTOR ANOPHELES STEPHENSI LIS (DIPTERA: CULICIDAE) / N. Aarthi* and K. Murugan / Journal of Phytology 2010, 2(8): 61-69

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