Pterygota alata (Roxb.) R.Br., Pterocymbium 234 1844. (Syn. Clompanus alata (Roxb.) Kuntze; Pterygota roxburghii Schott & Endl.; Sterculia alata Roxb.);
¿ ter-ee-GO-to ?– from the Greek pterygotós (winged)
a-LAY-tuh — winged
commonly known as: buddha coconut • Assamese: tula • Bengali: buddha narikel • Kannada: kolugida • Malayalam: porila • Marathi: करवटी karvati • Tamil: கொடைத்தோண்டி kodaittondi
Native to: India, south-east Asia

Malvaceae week : Pterygota alata Syn. Sterculia alata:
Malvaceae week : Pterygota alata Syn. Sterculia alata
Earlier :Sterculiaceae
Buddha’s coconut.
Observed in a private bungalow Pune. and also in Rani Bag Mumbai.
Flowers are polygamous. I think in one of my pictures both male and female flowers are visible.

I have seen only one tree in Delhi University in vegetative condition.

Nice one we call it “Pagla gach” (mad tree in bengali) because its heterogeneous leaf morphology.. have seen one in Indian Botanic garden

NA ….. Pagla gachh is a variant… of Pterygota alata… there is one in Kol Bot garden ( several baby trees too and one in the Hort… I am going to upload the one from Hort in a day or two….   the native pterygota alata
is a very tall tree and is deciduous.. the variant Pagla one never looses all its leaves… that’s a big difference…
Several native ones are in victoria memorial … at least a hundred years old… and very tall. without leaves provides a perch for now recovering population of the vultures in winter … one year we volunteered to count them and their nesting pairs… may be i’ll try and find the pictures and upload them….

Submitting an interesting tree and its variant …
Family:              Malvaceae
Subfamily:               Sterculioideae
Genus:                                Pterygota
Species                 1:  Pterygota alata
2: Pterygota alata  var. irregularis
These trees grow very tall, have the typical  sterculoid leaves… and both develop the seed pod that’s called the Boddha’s coconut
#1:  , the regular p. alata  happens to be deciduous….looses all its leaves, being the tallest it provides a look out perch for the vultures…
After some years of dwindling number they had disappeared for a few years… reappearing  to nest in the victoria memorial gardens in Kolkata… and vicinity…
And they used to perch on three pterygota alata trees we have there… we use to go and count through the seacon.. to assure ourselves that they were there to stay…
They are in figure 6 and 7… towards end of spring in April.
#2  : The most interesting Pterygota is the PAGLA gachh… or the mad tree…  so called because None of its leaves match each other, each one is different…
And its not deciduous… you’ll notice in the pictures that 20 percent or so leaves are turning brown… ready to fall…
These digital pics are from 2007 fig 1, 2) and 2011 (fig 3 and 4) all from the Hort gardens… see the label /Placard has changed… and fig number 5 is from Kolkata Bot G,  beginning of summer each.

Could see the vultures and the Sterculia fruit adopted the shape of vulture.

Help in Id DSC 8600/04 : Attachments (2). 3 posts by 3 authors.
This is a tree found along road in IIT Bombay, Mumbai, Maharashtra. Its about 12 feet in height. 

This can be Sterculia alata.. though cannot be certain..

Likely to be Sterculia alata.


sterculia alata, chandigarh : Attachments (5). 1 post by 1 author.
sterculia alata, chandigarh
june 2013

Pterygota alata ( Roxb. ) R.Br. var. irregularis ( W.W.Sm. ) Deb & S.K.Basu (Family- Malvaceae)
This plant is also known as MAD TREE because leaves are of variously shaped in a single branch. 

Pterygota alata from Uttarakhand: May 2014 DSR_4 : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2).
Pterygota alata (Roxb.) R. Br. (Malvaceae, earlier Sterculiaceae) is a handsom tree with straight bole. Here in Pantnagar (Uttarakhand) we have a solitary tree, obviously planted.
Leaves have started falling from the tree nowadays and meanwhile I was able to locate some of the “Buddha’s Coconuts” (fruits of it) on the high branches.
Seed dispersal is aided by wing on seeds and tree is half naked thus foliage do not come in way of blowing seeds.

Thanks …, I was able to get flower pics of the same tree this year..they are high up..

Hypericaceae, Clusiaceae and Dipterocarpaceae Fortnight: Shorea robusta from TDL Herbal Garden, Yamuna nagar-GSNOV15 : 5 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (2)
Shorea robusta, photographed from TDL Herbal garden in Yamunanagar.

Can this be Sterculia alata instead..

Thanks … for correction.

Your are quite aware that flowers and fruits are important criteria for the identification of any plant. Your photograph has only leaves which leads difficulties for the identification of any plant. However the shape and the structures of leaves I agree with Dr. Nidhan Singh that tree can be Sterculia and the species can be nobilis instead alata.

Malvaceae Fortnight :: Sterculia alata ::Mumbai :: PKAJUL59: : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
Sterculia alata at Mumbai.

… a composite is nice but i could not really enjoy the flowers here
did you by any chance save a naive pic not processed to be in this poster ??


Malvaceae Fortnight :: Sterculia sp.? ::Yana :: PKAJUL99: : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (6)

Very Tall Sterculia trees seen at Yana (North Karnataka).
Could this be Sterculia alata?

Yes …, To me this is Sterculia alata ..

Pterygota alata
Sterculia alata

These shots were taken in K.U. Kururkshetra..
A big tree, known more for its look and grace than for its flowers…
Sterculia alata

ID – Tree MS/J15/001 : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5)
Please help identify enclosed tree photos.
Location – Lonavala, Maharashtra

This is probably Pterygota alata

Pterygota alata


ID GK2 : 5 posts by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Please identify this shrub growing near a riparian location in Kannur district of Kerala at an altitude of approximately 350 feet. Fruit like structures are visible.

Pterygota alata

It is Erythopalum populifolium

I also agree with … as images are close to images at Pterygota alata (Roxb.) R.Br. rather than those at Erythropalum scandens

ID KANNUR 0602 : 5 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (1)
Please identify this large shrub from kannur district of Kerala,

It looks like Sterculia alata

Pterygota alata





Pterygota alata: Just to share……..
Pterygota alata Syn Sterculia alata
Family : Sterculiaceae
Many huge trees planted in Rani Bag Jijamata Udyan Byculla Mumbai.
Some were flowering on 27th Feb 2011.


Malvaceae week :: Pterygota alata: Pterygota alata (L.) Willd.

¿ ter-ee-GO-to ?– from the Greek pterygotós (winged)
a-LAY-tuh — winged
[image: Sterculia alata]<>
Jul 7, 2007 in Aarey Milk Colony, Mumbai
commonly known as: buddha coconut • *Assamese*: tula • *Bengali*: buddha narikel • *Kannada*: kolugida • *Malayalam*: porila • *Marathi*: करवटी karvati • *Tamil*: கொடைத்தோண்டி kodaittondi
Native to: India, south-east Asia
   – [image: Sterculia alata]<>…
Jul 7, 2007 in Aarey Milk Colony, Mumbai
– … more views:

I love to see this tree with straight long trunk in the evergreen forests.


Id required!:
Can some one give me the ID for this tree?

Yes fruits and seeds of Pterygota alata of Malvaceae (earlier in Sterculiaceae) family.

Commonly known as Buddha’s coconut.


Requesting id:
Gateway to JOG Falls, Shimoga district, karnataka is Talguppa for southern people. Railway line after conversion got open recently. Five huge trees in fruiting attracted our attention. Looks to be exotic. Requesting id.

I think … is right.
It is Pterygota alata Syn. Sterculia alata

This is Pterigota alata, commonly known as Budha’s coconut. I have seen this tree in Madras Theosophical society campus also.

It is Pterygota alata (Roxb.) R. Brown (Syn: Sterculia alata)- of Sterculiaceae family. It is not an exotic species as they are distributed in our forests they grow as tall as >35m in the evergreen forests.
Please visit@ Biotik


efloraofindia:”For Id 28032013MR2’’ tall tree with big roundish leaves at Pune : 3 images. 4 posts by 2 authors. 29/01/2013. requesting identification of a tall roadside tree at Bund garden corner at Pune. There are 2 such trees with big roundish leaves. no flowers or fruits were seen. Sorry for the poor quality of pics

i think this is sterculia alata 

Identification : 7 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (3)- around 700 kb each.
Kindly identify this tree.
Date/Time- 10 FEB 2019
Location-Place, Altitude, GPS-Hosakerehalli, Bengaluru
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type- Urban (Road side)
Plant Habit-Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb- Tree
Height/Length- 10 m tall 

Looks like Sterculiaceae tree. Please check for Pterigota (P.alata ?).

Please check for Berrya cordifolia as well. The flower like structure looks like the fruits of the tree.

Sterculia alata / Pterygota alata (Buddhas Coconut) 


MS/12/2019/5 – ID of the tree sapling : 4 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (4)- around 500 kb each.
Please ID the plant. Photographs taken at a play ground in Mysore. It could be Pterigota alata ?

Yes sir, this is Pterygota alata (Roxb.) R.Br.

I am also thinking same …

Fwd: Unable to deliver your message : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)
Request identity of this small tree?
Location: Kandivali (east), Mumbai.

Local name: Narikel, Buddha’s coconut,
Botanical name: Pterygota alata

Thank you for the id. I didn’t find it in ‘Trees of Mumbai’ BNHS 2006. The closest I came to was in ‘Trees of Delhi’ Penguin 2006 but I was confused when described as “A towering giant of rainforests of NE and WGhats, and one of Delhi’s tallest trees though it is stunted here.” Nevertheless, its a planted roadside tree but probably will not grow to its full, magnificent size. Worth following this trees over the years…


What tree is this?: 1 image.

Can you please help id this tree.
White Teak?
Buddha Coconut?

Please  post better pictures, possible original photos rather than screen shots for ID. It is difficult to ID the  picture posted by you which is unclear and  a xerox coy of the photograph !!!
Nevertheless it  doesnot look closer to any ofthe ID(s) suggested by you.

May I request you to pl. post a better image or detailed images for proper id.

Sorry sir, but this is the best I have at present.

This image is from Aga Khan Palace in Pune.
Currently due to covid restrictions can’t get a better image.
The tree is tall, with broad leaves and buttress root stem structure.
It seems like some kind of sterculia to me.

Yes, possible as per images at Pterygota alata

Kolkata, December 2021 :: Tree for ID:: ARK2022-024: 5 images- 2 high res.

This was clicked at the Indian Botanic Garden (AJBC Garden) at Shibpur, Howrah, WB  in December 2021.
The trees were too tall and hence could not get a pic of the canopy.
The nameplate too was not at all clear. Sterculiaceae can be gathered from the faint lettering on the board.
Is it possible to provide any clue?

Just going through FB, similar trees have been posted in the group as Pterygota alata.

Yes, you may be right as per images at Pterygota alata


identify this ficus tree species: 3 images.
15 march 2023

Pictures are not clear. Hence, ID is difficult.

This does not look like a Ficus to me.
It reminds me of Pterygota alata (Roxb.) R.Br. [Malvaceae].

I agree with … Nevertheless, to confirm please post better pictures. You are focusing against the light.



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