Wight's Crest-Petal
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Wight's Crest-Petal
ative Photo: Dinesh Valke
Common name: Wight's Crest-Petal, Wight's lophopetalum • Coorgi: ಪಾಲ್ಮನಿ paalmani • Hindi: बनाती banati • Kannada: ಬಲ್ಪಾಲೆ balpaale, ಬನಾಟೆ banaate, ಬೌರಾಲಪಾಲೆ bauralapaale, ಬಿಳಿ ಹಲಸು bili halasu, ಪಾಲ್ಮನಿ paalmani • Konkani: बोलपली bolpali • Malayalam: വെമ്പാല vembala, വെണ്‍കടവം venkatavam, വെങ്കൊട്ട venkotta • Marathi: बलफळे balphale, बनाती banati • Nepali: बलपले balapale • Tamil: காருக்கா karukka, வெள்ள பலா vella pala, வெள்ளபோலம் vellapolam, வெண்கடவன் venkatavan, வென்கோட்டா venkotta, வெண்குதம் venkutam • Tulu: ಬೊಲ್ಪಾಲೆ bolpaale Source: Names of Plants in India
Botanical name: Lophopetalum wightianum    Family: Celastraceae (Spike-thorn family)

Wight's Crest-Petal is a large tree up to 60 m tall and 195 cm diameter, sometimes with buttresses. Bark is coarsly fissured. Striking flowers are borne in panicles up to 12 cm long. Flower petals are dull red, disk bright red. Each petal furnished with a crest, hence the name. 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. Fruit is a capsule, 3-4 angled, elongated; seeds many, white, papery winged. Wight's Crest-Petal 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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