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Gyrocarpus americanus

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Barry Stock's photo of the Fairchild tree.


 Barry Stock's photo of his own plant.

The young leaves are pubescent and have a significant sent.

Barry Stock's photo of the Fairchild plant's leaves.

A young tree.
Photo by Boris "Puk" Vrskovy in southern India.

The stem. Photo by Boris "Puk" Vrskovy in southern India.

Author:  Nicolaas Joseph von Jacquin, 1763
Origin:  Andaman Island, Angola, Bangladesh, Belize, Brazil Northeast, Caprivi Strip, Christmas Island, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Eritrea, Fiji, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, India, Java, Kenya, Lesser Sunda Island, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaya, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Nicaragua, Northern Territory + Queensland + Western Australia, Panamá, Philippines, Samoa, Senegal, Society Island, Solomon Island, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Thailand, Tubuai Island, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Soil:  Peat - Mix
Water:  Medium
Sun:  Maximum
Thickness:  80 Centimetres
Height:  22 Metres
Flower:  Whitish - Yellowish-Green
Propagate:  Seeds/(Cuttings?)
Names:  Propellerbaum, Whirly Whirly Tree Burl, Stinkwood, Helicopter Tree, Shitwood, Arbre d’Helicoptére
Synonyms:  Gyrocarpus jacquinii Gardner, 1791.
Gyrocarpus asiaticus Willd. 1805. 
Gyrocarpus americanus subsp. africanus, Kubitzki.
Gyrocarpus americanus
subsp. capuronianus, Kubitzki.
Gyrocarpus americanus
subsp. glaber, Kubitzki.
Gyrocarpus americanus
subsp. pachyphyllus, Kubitzki.
Gyrocarpus americanus
subsp. pinnatilobus, Kubitzki.
Gyrocarpus americanus
subsp. sphenopterus, Kubitzki.
Gyrocarpus americanus
subsp. tomentosus, Kubitzki.

This member of the Hernandiaceae family was described by Nicolaas Joseph von Jacquin in 1763. It is found all around the Pacific region (South America, Papau New Guinea, Australia Asia and more). It grows in a well drained peat with some water and lots of sun. It can be reproduced by seeds and probably by cuttings. The flowers are small and whitish to yellowish-green, and male and bisexual flowers grow in the same flower-head. The fruits are olive-shaped, large, tough, woody, dry, and blackish. The seeds are slightly winged.

The genera name means 'round fruit'. The species name means 'American'.

In Malaysia, there are three subspecies: Gyrocarpus americanus caperonianus, with lobed and smooth leaves, from Southern Madagascar; Gyrocarpus americanus glaber, with entire, not lobed, smooth leaves, from Western and South-Western Madagascar; and Gyrocarpus americanus tomentosus, with dense hairs on both sides of the leaves, from Northern Madagascar (Schatz, 2001).

Often seen with synonym: Gyrocarpus jacquinii.

Also seen as a member of the Combretaceae family.

The sap can cause blindness.

Often confused with Firmiana colorata. Besides from the non-flat leaves with shorter drip-tips, the Gyrocarpus have a significant smell.

The seeds.
Grit 5 mm.

Barry Stock's photo of his own plant.

Barry Stock's photo of the leaves.

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