Sterculia foetida

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Photographs by: Dr. Maulik Gadani

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  • Botanical Name : Sterculia foetida L.
  • The name is derived from two latin words - Stercus meaning 'dung' and foetida meaning 'stinking'.

  • Common Name : Jangly Badam, Bastard, Poon Tree
  • Common Name Details :
  • Plant Family : Sterculiaceae

  • Plant Form : Tree
  • Occurrence (Sectors) : 9, 11

About Sterculia foetida Plant :

  • Habit : A large tree.
  • Stem : Erect, branched, cylindrical and solid with dark white, whorled, horizontal branches.
  • Leaves : Compound digitate, leaflets elliptic-lanceolate, stipules, caducous.
  • Inflorescence : Racemose panicles.
  • Flowers :
    • Dull-red, foetid, having foul smell which attracts flies for pollination.
    • Calyx tubular, deply 5-cleft.
    • Petals absent.
    • Male flowers are produced in great profusion and drop off. Staminal column curved, hairy at base and with 10-15 anthers. Corolline cup irregularly toothed, within the cup are 5 rudimentary carpels.
    • Female flowers are few and are found at the ends of the racemes, ovary of 5 hairy carpels on a stout gynophore, with a ring of staminodes, style hairy bent.
  • Fruit : Etaerio of 1-5 woody, scarlet, large, boat-shaped follicles.
  • Seeds : Many, black, smooth, exalbuminous, with a small, yellow caruncle at the base.
  • Flowering and Fruiting time :March-May.
  • Significance :
    • Cultivated in the gardens.
    • The fruits possess sweet oily edible pulp. The seeds are eaten raw or roasted but if consumed in large quantities, they cause dysentery.
    • The tree exudes a gum resembling tragacanth which is used for book binding and similar work.