Scientific Name: Memecylon edule
Tamil Name: kaayam
Description: A large shrub or small tree, up to 8-14m tall with amazing bright blue flowers that look almost unreal. Delek as it is sometimes called, produces showy clusters of tiny purple flowers, about 1cm each. The trees bloom once or twice a year, and are then indeed a beautiful sight. This tree is not only beautiful, but also useful. It provides hard timber used for building houses and boats. A yellow dye can be extracted from the leaves and the bark is used to treat bruises.
Habitat and distribution: Semi-evergreen, shola and moist deciduous forests, also in the plains.
Note: The leaves are used in the treatment of gonorrhea, or when mixed with several other ingredients, they make good fomentations for external use.
Photos source: Dr. J. Subramanean