Common name: Helicopter Tree, Whirly Whirly Tree Burl, Stinkwood, Shitwood • Hindi: ज़ैतून Zaitun • Kannada: kadubende, pollika, kaadu bende • Tamil: Chaivavatala, Tanakku, Kadavai • Telugu: Tanuku, Nallaponaku, Kumaara ponaku
Botanical name: Gyrocarpus americanus Family: Hernandiaceae (Hernandia family)
Helicopter Tree is a slender, deciduous tree, with smooth, grey bark,
often bleaching to a silvery-white on the sunny side. Leaves are spirally
arranged, crowded near the ends of branches, up to 15 × 12 cm. Leaves are
ovate, often more or less deeply 3-lobed, dark green above, paler greyish
below, finely velvety on both surfaces, markedly 3-veined from the base.
Veins are yellowish; stalk up to 9 cm long. Flowers arise in compact
heads, yellowish-green, with an unpleasant smell. Fruit a woody nut with 2
long thin wings, aiding wind dispersal. It is this winged, flying nut that
gave the tree its various common names.
Identification credit: Barry Stock
|Photographed at Bhongir Fort, Andhra Pradesh.|