Flora of the Nilgiris

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

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Pterolobium hexapetalum (Roth) Santapau & Wagh

Leaf arrangement

Alternate distichous

Leaf Type


Leaf Shape

Oblanceolate, Oblong

Leaf Apex


Leaf Base


Leaf Margin


Habit : An armed straggler.

Habitat and Distribution : Locally abundant to dominant in foothills scrub jungles to 1200m on the dry slopes. Ready colonizer on cleared land. One of the characteristic species of the dry thorn forest of the foothills of the Peninsula.

Indigenous Information : Honey harvested after the flowers bloom is the sweetest. Bees have been observed foraging twice a day on the same flowers. Cattle feed on the tender shoots. One can get entangled in thickets of this plant because of its spines. The jungle cat, 'Bhoca' (Ir) similarly never lets go of its prey.

Field Tips : A thorny straggling shrub with reddish winged pod.


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Irula : Bhoca
Tamil : Karu indu


In axillary or terminal racemes, white. Flowering from April-July.

Fruit :

A pod, samaroid, oblong, apically winged, dark green with a reddish terminal wing above. Seed 1, obovoid. Fruiting from August onwards.

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