Tipuana tipu (Leguminosae) – tipu tree seed
Seed from the Kew Millennium Seed Bank collection at Wakehurst, outside London in the UK.
Tipuana tipu (Leguminosae) – tipu tree; native to South America (Brazil, Bolivia & Argentina) – fruits (samaras); the 1-3-seeded, unilaterally winged samaras of the tipu tree bear a striking resemblance to the fruitlets of maples (Acer spp., Sapindaceae). A unilateral wing causes a helicopter-like flight as the diaspore rotates around its centre of gravity (i.e. the thickened, seed-bearing part of the fruit); length c. 5cm. --- The tipu tree is widely planted as a street tree in the tropics; it is very vigorous and can become an invasive pest, such as in South Africa. The timber of the tipu tree is used for furniture.
From: http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/GBASE/data/pf000407.htm: This is mainly an ornamental tree, used in urban forestry, but the leaves also constitute e good feed for stock. It is also one of the many "rose woods". It has been used in the South Sahel and North Sudanese ecozones for street and amenity plantations, as well as in Dakar, Cairo, Lisbon, Tunis, Sousse, Jerusalem etc.