Native to India, Madhuca longifolia (Indian Butter Tree) is a beautiful big tree that can grow taller than 20 ft. It flourishes in full sunlight or semi-shade with moderate water and is known for its fragrant white or off-white flowers. It is a great choice for attracting butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. This ethnomedical plant is an important spice or herb in Ayurveda, the traditional Indian medicine.
In addition to offering beautiful ornamentation, the Indian Butter Tree produces edible fruits. As its name suggests, the fruits of this plant are the source of illipe butter, which is loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. The yellow-sweat fruits contain one or two seeds and can be eaten raw or cooked. It can manage to yield hundreds of fruits a year.
Madhuca longifolia is grown in USDA Zone 9-11. In cold regions, the plant can be grown in a pot with well-draining potting soil, stored in a sheltered place, and watered regularly. It is also advisable to protect the plant from strong winds and intense sun by placing it in semi-shade and pruning trees regularly to prevent it from growing too big for the pot.