Helicteres isora L.
Linnaeus, C. von (1753) Species Plantarum 2: 963. Type: Habitat in Malabaria, Jamaica.
East Indian Screw Tree; Isora, Red; Red Isora; Spiral Bush
Usually flowers and fruits as a shrub about 2-5 m tall.
Flowers produced along the stems. Pedicels about 5-10 mm long. Calyx about 20 mm long, the lobes about 2-3 mm long. Outer surface of the calyx tube clothed in stellate hairs. Petals variable, two wide and three narrower. Petals clawed, about 30-35 mm long, a gland or scale present near the junction of the claw and petal limb. Stamens ten, staminodes five, alternating with each pair of stamens. Anther locules borne one above the other. Gynophore curved, about 40-45 mm long.
Cotyledons wider than long, about 4 x 5 mm, apex truncate or notched, petioles about 1.5 mm long. Lower surface of the cotyledons and the petioles clothed in stellate hairs. First leaves +/- orbicular, about 7-8 x 6 mm, margins +/- crenate with 5-7 teeth on each side, petioles about 1.5 mm long. The upper surface of the leaf blades glabrous, the lower surface clothed in stellate hairs. At the tenth leaf stage: all parts of the seedling clothed in stellate hairs. Leaf blade broadly obovate, base cordate, margin irregularly crenate with about 15-30 teeth on each side, venation palmate with 3-7 veins radiating from the base. Stipules linear, about 4 mm long, clothed in stellate hairs. Taproot thickened, carrot-like (Daucus carota). Seed germination time 11 to 77 days.
It is easily grown and withstands dry periods.
This species may have medicinal properties. (http://squid2.laughingsquid.net/hosts/herbweb.com /herbage/A12946.htm)