East Indian Screw Tree (എടംപിരി വലംപിരി)

Scientific Name: Helicteres isora L.

Synonyms: Helicteres brevior Mill,  Isora corylifolia Schott Endl.

Unique ID: 152

Systematic Position

Class: Dicotyledonae

Sub Class: Polypetalae                        

Series: Thalamiflorae

Order: Malvales

Family: Malvaceae

Common Names

English – East Indian ScrewTree

Malayalam – എടംപിരി വലംപിരി

Tamil – Idamburi,Kaiva

Hindi – Marorphal

Description: Large shrubs or small trees; bark pale greyish, finely wrinkled; young shoots stellate- tomentose. Leaves 5-12 x 3-8 cm, obovate to suborbicular, base cordate, margin irregularly crenate- serrate, apex acute or acuminate, 3-5-nerved at the base, scabrous above and stellately tomentose below; petioles to 1.2 cm long. Flowers axillary, solitary or in few-flowered cymes; bracts 2-3 mm long, linear, 2 brown glands present in the axil of bracts; pedicel to 6 mm long. Calyx slightly yellow, persistent, tubular, splitting in to 5 irregular lobes; tube 1.5-2 cm long , densely stellate hairy without. Petals 5, unequal, 2-2.5 cm long, obovate, clawed, crimson, fading to pale blue. Staminal column 3-3.5 cm long, cylindric; stamens 10 ; staminodes 5. Ovary 2-2.5 mm long, placed at tip of gynophore, 5-lobed, 5-celled; ovules many; style 5; stigma subulate. Follicles 5, 4-6 cm long, spirally twisted, stellate-tomentose, beaked. Seeds 2-3 mm long, angular, black, wrinkled. Flowering and fruiting: September-March

Habitat: Deciduous forests, also in plantations and plains  

Distribution: Indo-Malesia, China and Australia

Uses: Folk medicine; The bark gives a coarse fibre and wood for fuel; Fibre is extracted from the young branches to make ropes