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Common Name : Indian Screw Tree     -       Scientific Name : Helicteres isora (Malvaceae)       -       Other Name : Liniya (S)
Panikkar Villu
12/31/2013
Panikkar Villu
12/31/2013

This small tree with its striking bright orange flowers is native to most countries in Asia including Sri Lanka, India, China, Malay Peninsula, and Java. It is also found in Saudi Arabia.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Near Threatened”. (National List 2012).

A species of butterfly known as the Golden Angle lays its eggs on the tender leaves of this species and it is pollinated mainly by Sunbirds.

In Ayurveda medicine this species is considered to be of great importance in terms of its antioxidant capabilities. The bark is used to treat diarrhoea and scabies. Fried pods are given to children to kill intestinal worms.

I have seen this species at most dry zone and intermediate zone forested areas up to an altitude of about 300 meters. In Wilpattu I have seen Purple, Purple rumped and Loten’s Sunbirds visiting the flowers of this species.

This species is commonly seen in areas around Panikkar Villu and Tala Wila