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P Native Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: Patwa • Hindi: पटवा Patwa
Botanical name: Butea pellita    Family: Fabaceae (Pea family)
Synonyms: Meizotropis pellita

Patwa is a rare shrub with stout woody perennial rootstock, 1.8 m high, 2 cm in diameter, with stems ribbed. Flowers are bright-red, 2-2.5 cm long, in fascicles of usually 3 or 5, arranged in erect at branch-ends and auxiliary simple racemes. Sepal cup is 12 mm long, bell-shaped, thick, densely brown-woolly; sepals 4. Flower are bright red, wings and keel changing to orange towards the base inside; Petals are clothed outside with silky white hairs. Leaves, stems, inflorescence and pods are densely clothed with spreading white or pale-brown velvety-hairs. Leaves are 45-75 cm long; leaf-stalk 12-30 cm, furrowed above; leaflets nearly equal, 20-50 x 15-35 cm, broadly ovate, the lateral pair somewhat oblique, entire, base flat or blunt, rather thick, lateral nerves 7-10 pairs. Pod 4-7 x 2-5 cm, oblong, leathery. Seed 1.5-2 cm in diameter, compressed, hairless, reddish-brown. Patwa is found only in a small locality Patwadanger, about 12 km from Nainital, Uttarakhand, at 1500 m.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed in Patwadangar, Nainital.

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