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The National Tree of Sri Lanka

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					The National Tree of Sri Lanka

English name: Iron Wood
Sinhala Name: Na
Botanical name : Mesua Nagaserium

On 01st of March 1986, The NA Tree was accepted as the national Tree of Sri Lanka by
the Government.

The “Na” denoted purity and can be seen growing in many Buddhist and Hindu temple
premises, hence considered as a tree associated with veneration. Also this is a very
beautiful tree, growing up to 30 meters in height and having somewhat conical
appearance. Although it is considered indigenous, it grows in India and other tropical
countries.

It grows naturally in the wetter parts of Sri Lanka, up to an elevation of about 100 meters.
It could be planted as an ornamental tree as well. There are many place names beginning
with the prefix ‘Na Gas’ giving an indication of the wide spread nature of it’s habitat.
(Ex: Nagas Hena, Na hena, Na Gasgoda, etc,.)

The wood of this tree is very hard and durable, and is used almost exclusively in
Buddhist temple and Hindu devala woodwork. Generally not used for household
woodworks. Also it is been used during early times in the construction of bridges due to
its long lasting quality.

There is another variety of Na tree called “Diya Na”, which is only found in Sri Lanka,
where the tree is small, leaves and flowers larger than that of “Na tree”

				
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