Bastard poon tree

Sterculia foetida

''Sterculia foetida'' is a soft wooded tree that can grow up to 115 feet tall. It was described in 1753 by Carolus Linnaeus. Common names for the plant are the bastard poon tree, java olive tree, hazel sterculia, and wild almond tree. The origin of the name of the bad-smelling ''Sterculia'' genus comes from the Roman god, Sterquilinus, who was the god of fertilizer or manure.
Seed pod of Sterculia foetida, Malvaceae Taken at the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida. Geotagged,Sterculia foetida,Summer,United States

Appearance

The branches of ''Sterculia foetida'' are arranged in whorls, and they spread horizontally. The tree's bark is smooth and grey. The leaves of the plant are situated at the ends of branchlets containing 7-9 leaflets. The leaflets grow elliptically, and are 10–17 cm. Also they are shortly petiouled with each petiole being 12.5–23 cm long. The petioles are the source of the foul smell of the plant. Evidence suggests that the seeds of ''Sterculia foetida'' are edible, but they should be roasted prior to eating. Each fruit generally contains 10-15 seeds. The flowers are found as panicles, and they are 10–15 cm long. The green or purple flowers are large and unisexual as male and female flowers are found on different trees. The calyx is a dull orange color and divided into five parts. Each sepal is 1-1.3 cm long. The follicles are scarlet. In India, flowers appear in March, and the leaves appear between March and April. Interestingly, at Hyderabad , flowering was observed in September-October with ripened fruits on the top part and young green fruits at the lower branches. The fruit is ripe in February .

Distribution

''Sterculia foetida'' has been found in many areas. These aforementioned areas are India, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, United States , Indonesia, Ghana, Australia, Mozambique, and Togo.

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Taxonomy
KingdomPlantae
DivisionAngiosperms
ClassEudicots
OrderMalvales
FamilyMalvaceae
GenusSterculia
Species