Flora of the Nilgiris

Family : Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)

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Helicteres isora L.

Leaf arrangement

Alternate distichous

Leaf Type


Leaf Shape

Orbicular, Obovate

Leaf Apex


Leaf Base


Leaf Margin

Habit : A large shrub.

Habitat and Distribution : Common on the deciduous slopes by forest clearing. Hills 400-1200m. Indian subcontinent, Malay peninsula, Sri Lanka, Australia.

Indigenous Information : The fruits are used to prepare medicines for children.

Other relevent information : The barks give a coarse fibre and wood used for fuel.

Field Tips : Leaves asymmetrical. Stem terete, softly villous.


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English : East Indian Screw Tree
Irula : Valmburi
Tamil : Valamburi, Idamburi, Kaiva
Hindi : Marorphal
Malayalam : Valambiri


In axillary cymes, crimson, bluish before fading. Flowering peaks from September-December.

Fruit :

A follicles spirally twisted, cylindrical. Seeds many, wrinkled, truncate, angular. Fruiting from December-March.

All from Flora of Nilgiri Biosphere (Northern Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve)