This exotic small tree or shrub has highly perfumed flowers. The sweet scented flowers are small, 1-2", attractive shape, with white corolla and an orange-red tube in center and bloom profusely, opening at night and casting off in the morning thus making a carpet of flowers. Used in Buddhist temples, for worship. The large attractive leaves are rough and hairy. Use well drained soil and fertilize once a month.
Flowers are followed by flat roundish capsules that split in half when dry. Each half of the capsule contains one seed. Propagation is easier by seeds as cuttings are very hard to root.
The plant seems to be pretty cold hardy, mature plants survive light freeze for a few hours without significant damage.
Stem is used for relief of headache, leaf - cholecystagogue, flower - antipyretic, treatment of faintness and vertigo.
According to mythology, this is a heavenly tree brought to earth by the god Krishna. A quarrel over it ensued between Satyabhama and Rukmini, Krishna's wives. But Krishna planted the tree in Satyabhama's courtyard in a way that when the tree flowered, the flowers fell in Rukmini's courtyard. Another romantic story woven around the tree is about Parijataka, a princess. She fell in love with the sun but when he deserted her she committed suicide and a tree sprung from the ashes. Unable to stand the sight of the lover who left her, the tree flowers only at night and sheds them like tear-drops before the sun rises.