Helicteres isora

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

  • Botanical Name : Helicteres isora L.
  • Synonyms : Helicteres roxburghii G. Don
  • Common Name : Mardasing, Screw-Fruit Plant, Kewan
  • Plant Family : Sterculiaceae
  • Plant Form : Shrub
  • Occurrence (Special Areas) : Gujarat Forestry Research Foundation, Indroda Park, Ayurvedic Udyan

About Helicteres isora Plant :

  • Habit : A shrub with young shoots full of stellate hairs.
  • Leaves : Oblong, obovate, cordate, suddenly and shortly acuminate, closely dotted with stellate hairs on both sides irregularly crenate serrate, stipulate, subulate.
  • Inflorescence : Axillary clusters.
  • Flowers :
    • Bilabiate, in axillary clusters of 2-6 together pedicels short, hairy, bracts small, hairy.
    • Calyx tubular, bilipped, hairy, 5 curved, compressed, mouth wide, teeth triangular, unequal, petals, red at first, fading to lead colour, unequal, reflexed on the calyx, separate but with claws closely hooked together.
    • Staminal column fused but with the gynophore, much exerted, suddenly deflexed, anthers 10, in a ring round the ovary.
    • Ovary conical on a curved gynophore, style as long as the ovary, deflexed.
  • Fruits :
    • Capsules twisted like a cork-screw, beaked, with stellate hairs.
    • Seeds many, angular.
  • Flowering and Fruiting Time : July-December
  • Significance : A strong fibre is obtained from bark and the fruits are used medicinally, useful in the griping of bowels and flatulence of children.