Buddha Coconut
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Buddha Coconut
ative Photo: Tabish
Common name: Buddha Coconut • Tamil: கொடைத்தோண்டி Kodaittondi • Malayalam: Porila • Kannada: Kolugida, Tattele mara, Bekaro, Daddele, Jaynkathala • Bengali: Tula, Buddha-Narikel • Assamese: Tula, Pahari • Mizo: Lenglep, Vantai
Botanical name: Pterygota alata    Family: Sterculiaceae (Cacao family)
Synonyms: Sterculia alata

Buddha Coconut is a tall tree, which gets is name from its coconut like fruit. Leaves are carried on 3-10 cm long stalks, crowded towards the ends of branches. Leaves are blade broadly ovate-heartshaped, 10-25 cm long, 7-15 cm broad, wavy, smooth, pointed or tapering. Flowers are borne in small, few-flowered racemes. Flowers are 1-1.5 cm across, on 2-3 mm long stalks. Flowers have no petals, sepals are 5, nearly free, linear-lance- shaped or elliptic, 1.2-1.5 cm long, 3-4 mm broad, fleshy, densely ferruginous pubescent outside, sparsely velvet-hairy and purple with red streaks within. Anthers in male flowers are united into 1-2 mm broad head on 4-6 mm long staminal column. In bisexual flowers sessile anthers are arranged in clusters of 4 or 5 in the sinuses formed by the carpels. Carpels are 5;ovaries sessile, 2-3 mm long, pubescent; style recurved. Fruit is large, woody, 7-12 cm in diameter, obliquely round. Seeds are about 40 per follicle, oblong, compressed, in 2 rows, winged. In India, seeds are eaten, and plant used medicinally. Buddha Coconut is native to India, and found variously in S.E. Asia.

Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé Photographed in Lodhi Garden, Delhi & Jijamata Udyan, Mumbai.

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