Sterculia villosa Roxb. ex DC.

    (Sterculia Or Cocoa Family)
  • Family (Hindi name) : COCOA FAMILY
  • Family (as per The APG System III) : MALVACEAE
  • Species Name (as per The Plant List) : Sterculia villosa Roxb.
  • Common name : Elephant rope tree
  • Vernacular name : Udhal (Hindi); Bilidali (Kannada); Muratthan, Vakkai, Anai-nar (Tamil); Kummari puliki (Telugu); Kodalo (Oria); Kudal, Kuthada, Sardol (Marathi); Vakka, Vakkanarumaram (Malayalam)
  • Habit : Tree
  • Habitat : Deciduous forests
  • Comments / notes : Leafless between December to May. The gum is used as substitute for Gum Karaya. The fibre is coarse but strong, made in to ropes and breast bands of elephant to drag timber.
  • Key identification features : Bark light-grey, smooth; flower yellow in panicles at the ends of shoots
  • Flower, Fruit : January-June
  • Distribution :
    • Andhra Pradesh : Vishakapatnam district, Kurnool district, Nellore district, Srikakulam district
    • Karnataka : BR Hills (Chamarajanagar district)
    • Kerala : Wayanad district, Palakkad district, Thrissur district, Idukki district, Thiruvananthapuram district
    • Maharashtra : Amravati district, Mumbai-City district, Mumbai Suburban district, Pune district, Raigad district, Ratnagiri district, Sindhudurg district
    • Odisha : Mayurbhanj district
    • Tamil Nadu : Coimbatore district, The Nilgiri district, Salem district, Villipuram district, Cuddalore district
  • Native : Indian subcontinent
  • World Distribution : South Asia, Myanmar
  • Conservation Status : Not Evaluated (NE)
  • Literature : Pullaiah et al., 2002 - Flora of Eastern Ghats Vol. 1; H.O. Saxena & M. Brahmam, 1994- Flora of Orissa Vol. 1; R. S. Rao and S. H. Sreeramulu, 1986 - Flora of Srikakulam District; H. O. Saxena and M. Brahmam, 1989 - The Flora of Similipahar (Similipal), Orissa; Sasidharan, N. 2011. Flowering plants of Kerala. DVD, V 2, KFRI; Neginhal, S.G. 2011. Forest trees of the Western Ghats includes Eastern Ghats Deccan Plateau; Henry, Kumari & Chithra (1983). Flora of Tamil Nadu, India vol. 1.
  • Citation : Sankara Rao, K., Raja K Swamy, Deepak Kumar, Arun Singh R. and K. Gopalakrishna Bhat (2019). Flora of Peninsular India. villosa. Downloaded on 20 January 2022.

Botanical Description

Herbarium Specimen(s)

Field Image(s)


All fields are required

Creative Commons License
Digital Flora of Peninsular India by Herbarium JCB is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at