Sterculia foetida (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
Introduction
List of species


Sterculia foetida L.


Protologue: Sp. pl. 2: 1008 (1753).

Synonyms

Sterculia polyphylla R.Br. (1844).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: kepoh (Javanese, Java), kabu-kabu (Batak, Sumatra), kalupat (Sulawesi)
  • Malaysia: kelumpang jari (Peninsular)
  • Philippines: kalumpang (general)
  • Burma (Myanmar): letpan-shaw
  • Cambodia: samrong
  • Thailand: samrong (central, eastern), homrong (peninsular), chammahong (Chiang Mai)
  • Vietnam: trôm.

Distribution

Eastern Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, Thailand, throughout the Malesian region (but not reported for Sarawak and Papua New Guinea), northern Australia and Hawaii.

Uses

The wood is used for temporary construction, packing cases, concrete shuttering and similar uses. In the Philippines it is also used for house construction, particularly for sides, ceilings and partitions. The wood is stronger and more durable than most other Sterculia wood. The seeds are eaten as nuts (although they may be slightly poisonous when fresh), and they are the source of an oil which is used for illuminating and painting. The flowers and leaves have medicinal value. The trees are planted for shade, and sometimes used as stakes for sirih ( Piper betle L.). The rind of the fruit was formerly used in dyeing baths for batik.

Observations

  • A medium-sized to fairly large deciduous tree up to 40 m tall, with bole up to 90(-120) cm in diameter, with buttresses up to 1.5 m high, bark surface sparsely cracked and peeling off into large pieces or slightly fissured and dippled, lenticellate, whitish-grey to greyish-brown, inner bark fibrous, brown or reddish-brown, twigs stout, c. 25 mm in diameter.
  • Leaves palmately compound with (5-)6-10 leaflets, petiole 10-25(-45) cm long, stipules caducous, leaflets elliptical to lanceolate, (7-)12-15(-20) cm × (3-)4-6(-7) cm, acute at base, glabrescent.
  • Inflorescence axillary or subterminal, paniculate.
  • Calyx with obconical tube glabrous inside and 5 lanceolate spreading lobes much longer than the tube, male flowers with 14-15 anthers.
  • Follicles usually 5, suborbicular or boat-shaped, 8-14 cm long, red.
  • Seed ellipsoid, 2-3 cm long, black.

S. foetida occurs in primary and secondary forest, often on river banks and on coral sandstone rocks along the coast, up to 1000 m altitude. The heartwood is pinkish and has a pungent smell. The density is 495-600(-760) kg/m3at 15% moisture content.

Selected sources

35, 78, 99, 104, 125, 140, 148, 216, 218, 234, 261, 330, 414, 458, 460, 465, 474, 526, 527, 632, 660, 705.