Pterygota alata

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Pterygota alata (Roxb.) R. Br.
  • Synonyms : Sterculia alata Roxb., Erythropsis roxburghiana Schott & Endl.
  • Common Name : Stave Wood, Buddha's Coconut, Badha
  • Plant Family : Sterculiaceae
  • Plant Form : Tree
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 18

About Pterygota alata Plant :

  • Habit : A small tree, young parts covered with dense golden stellate hairs.
  • Stem : Erect, branched, cylindrical and solid.
  • Leaves : Ovate, cordate, acute, stipules small.
  • Inflorescence : Racemes, few flowered, from the old axils below the leaves.
  • Flowers :
    • Bracteate, bracts caduceus, unisexual.
    • Calyx campanulate, lobes 5, valvate, thick and fleshy with red and yellow veins inside.
    • Male Flowers :
    • Staminal column slender with 5-6 sterile ovaries on the apex, around which are 4-5 groups of sub-sessile stamens.
    • Female or hermaphrodite Flowers :
    • Ovaries 5, sessile, ovules many, styles very short, hairy, recurved, stigma 2-lobed, staminodes or stamens round the base of the ovary.
  • Fruit : Follicles 5, subglobose, about 5 inches diameter, on long stalks, hard and woody and hairy.
  • Seeds : About 40, oblong compressed winged.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : February - April
  • Significance :
    • Ornamental tree planted for shade in the gardens and along roadside.
    • Seeds are edible and are used as a substitute for opium.
    • They are roasted and eaten.