Foto info
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Balpale, Wight's lophopetalum • Coorgi: ಪಾಲ್ಮನಿ palmani • Kannada: ಬಲ್ಬಲೆ balpale, ಬೌರಾಲಪಾಲೆ bauralapale, ಬಿಳಿ ಹಲಸು bili halasu, ಪಾಲ್ಮನಿ palmani • Malayalam: വെങ്കടവം venkatavam, വെങ്കൊട്ട venkeatta • Marathi: बल्पले balpale • Tamil: காருக்கா karukka, வெள்ள பலா vella pala, வெள்ளபோலம் vellapolam, வெண்கடவன் venkatavan, வென்கோட்டா venkotta, வெண்குதம் venkutam
Botanical name: Lophopetalum wightianum    Family: Celastraceae (Spike-thorn family)

Balpale is a large tree up to 60 m tall and 195 cm diameter, sometimes with buttresses. Bark is coarsly fissured. Leaves are simple, usually opposite, sometimes alternate. Leaf-stalk is 0.8-2.5 cm long, round. Leaves are 8-26 x 4-10 cm, elliptic-oblong, tip pointed to long-pointed, base rounded, margin entire, papery or somewhat leathery. Secondary nerves are 6-13 pairs. Striking flowers are borne in panicles up to 12 cm long. Flower petals are dull red, disk bright red. Fruit is a capsule, 3-4 angled, elongated; seeds many, white, papery winged. Balpale is found in low elevation wet evergreen forests and often found in swamps and along streams, up to 900 m, in Pakistan, India, Indochina and Southeast Asia.

Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar
Photographed near Gersoppa Ghat, Karnataka.
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