Hiptage benghalensis

Hiptage benghalensis.

Hiptage or Helicopter Flower is in Family Malpighiaceae.

A garden ornamental and naturalised in some areas of Queensland where it is a weed.
It grows as a shrubby plant or a liana (woody vine) up to 10 m high.
It climbs by twisting its stem around supports.
The stems have lenticels (pale raised dots) and pale hairs.

The oppositely arranged, simple leaves are on petioles up to 1 cm long.
There is a shallow groove on the upper surface of the petiole.
The stems and petioles have a dense covering of white hairs.
There are hairy stipules less than 1 cm long.

The hairy young leaves are a light red.
Adult leaves are a bright green, lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate and up to 20 cm long and 9 cm wide.
Underneath the blade is paler and covered with tiny hairs.
The midrib is raised on the upper surface.
On the underside, near the leaf base, there are often 2 large or small, red or green glands.

Inflorescences are clusters of up to 30 axillary or terminal flowers.
The pedicels (inflorescence stalks) are jointed – an area that allows the flowers to easily fall off.
Flowers are on stalks to 20 mm long that have small bracts and bracteoles.
Buds are covered with white hairs.

The calyx consists of 5 sepals up to 10 mm long, with the bases joined.
Both surfaces have yellow-brown hairs.
There is a green to reddish-brown gland, 4 to 7 mm long, on the calyx and adjacent stalk.

The corolla has 5 clawed, hairy petals up to 2 cm long that are bent backwards.
These are round with a fringed edge and are white, cream or pinkish.
One petal is slightly larger and has a yellow centre.

There are 10 stamens in 2 whorls with most about 5 mm long but one is up to 15 mm.
The ovary is hairy and has 3 petal-like appendages that develop into wings.
The 15 mm style is attached to the side of ovary just below the apex.

Seeds are a 3-winged samara which rotates as they fall (helicopter seeds).
The wings are up to 6 mm long and one is slightly larger.
There is a crest over the central area containing the seed.
They ripen from green to brown.
Each fruit contains 1-3 round seeds up to 10 mm in size.