LaFrankie, J.V. "Flora of the Philippines: Proteaceae. [Draft] ", Flora of the Philippines, updated September 3, 2012. University of the Philippines, accessed on [today's date] at <>.


Helicia Lour. Fl. Cochinch. 1: 83. 1790 [Sep 1790]
Synopsis: Chiefly small trees and shrubs, recognized by the spirally arranged entire leaves in upturned clusters, the base of the leaf stalk swollen and bulbous, the flowers in long spikes among or below the leaves, the fruit with a single locule and one or two seeds. About 90% of our collections are of the regionally widespread, common and variable species, H. robusta. The lowland forms are readily recognized by the large leaves with many strong nerves and ragged toothed margin; however, in mountains the leaves can be smaller and with few teeth and the same species name is applied. While H. robusta is found from India to New Guinea, our other species are found only in the Philippines.
Technical description: [For the genus in the Philippines.] Trees or shrubs to 30 cm DBH, 25 m tall. The bark often retaining scars of the leaf stalks. Wood? Leaves arranged spirally along the twigs in upright clusters with episodic growth. Stipules absent. Entire, usually oblanceolate, the margin usually coarsely toothed. Inflorescences axillary from old leaf scars behind the foliage, or ramiflorous, cauliflorous, a simple spike with flowers borne laterally either in pairs or sometimes singly; bracts subtending flower pairs usually small, sometimes accrescent and woody; floral bracts usually minute or absent. Flowers bisexual, actinomorphic. Perianth segments described as tepals, 4, valvate, usually tubular in bud, variously split at anthesis. Stamens 4, opposite tepals; filaments adnate to perianth; anthers basifixed, usually 2-loculed, longitudinally dehiscent, connective often prolonged. Hypogynous glands 4 (or absent), free or variously connate. Ovary superior, 1-loculed, sessile or stipitate; ovules 1 or 2 (or more), pendulous, laterally or basally. Style terminal, simple, often apically clavate; stigma terminal or lateral, mostly small. Fruit at maturity is poorly known for most species, more or less drupaceous or tardily dehiscent. Seeds 1 or 2, sometimes winged (?); endosperm absent (or vestigial); embryo usually straight; cotyledons thin or thick and fleshy; radicle short.
Vegetative ecology:
Reproductive ecology:
Ovary hairy; shrub on exposed mountain ridges above 1000 m, or a tree to 30 cm DBH; the margin rarely with teeth, the blade usually to 4 cm long, oblanceolate and the tip blunt, sometimes elliptic with a briefly acute tip; the blade thick and leathery, dries with strongly raised nerves. [All major islands, chiefly over 1000 m.]
Ovary glabrous.
  Young leaves always with red hairs pressed against the surface, at maturity highly variable in all vegetative details; the fruit globose without a sharp point. [All Philippine Islands, common, lowlands and uplands.]..
  Young leaves and twig apex glabrous; the fruit with a short point.
    Main lateral nerves fade to the margin. [Known from Surigao and Dingagat, Aurura (?), below 300 m.]
    Main lateral nerves are more net-like, arch within the margin. [Known with certainty only from the type, Lake Lanao, Surigao, Mindanao.]