The Deer's Horn

Indian Screw tree (Helicteres Isora/मुरुडशेंग, केवण) is a small deciduous tree having serrated leaves & uniquely beautiful, nectary flowers in sparse clusters. Due to small size and attractive flowers, the tree is suitable for plantation in cities.

Flowers are bright orange-red or crimson coloured when young and turn purplish before fruiting. The colour changing patterns of flowers make the tree attractive & very delightful to watch. The unique, twisted, screw like shape of the fruit is what lends most of it names like Screw tree, Maror Phali, Deer's Horn.

It flowers during July to September. They are pollinated mainly by sunbirds & Flower Peckers. The caterpillars of Common Sailer and Golden Angle feed on this plant. It is also visited by many other butterflies and insects like ants, bees, sawflies, wasps etc. Hence the presence of this impressive tree in your neighborhood will attract not only your neighbor's attention, but also different birds and insects. 

Indian Screw tree possesses an impressive range of nutritional and medicinal properties. Medicinally, it is a rich source of nutrients and antioxidants of therapeutic importance. Investigations have indicated that the plant has antioxidant, anticancer, anti-diabetic and antimicrobial properties. The fruits are used in treating intestinal complaints, colic pains and flatulence. Roots are known to be useful in diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery & convulsions. The roots & stem barks are considered to be expectorant, demulcent, astringent; and are used in scabies, biliousness. Fried pods are advised to kill intestinal worms. 

The tree is hardy and can tolerate degraded soils. It also withstands dry periods. It easily propagates from seeds. The bark is the source of a strong fibre. It is used as cordage for making cots, tying cattle and ploughs. It is also good for making ropes and clothing.

Basically, Indian Screw tree is a wonderful tree having so many virtues to its name. It is a must species to have for any Nature lover!

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