Yellow sanders

 
 

Yellow sanders, or West Indian satinwood, is native to the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and some of the Lesser Antilles. It reaches a height of 50 feet, with a trunk 1.5 feet in diameter. The leaves are up to 10 inches long and are composed of 5 to 11 leaflets with a yellow central vein. The flowers are small, male or female on different trees, and are grouped in terminal inflorescences. The fruit is minute, reddish, and opens to liberate one shinny black seed. It flowers from winter to summer, sometimes more than once, and produces fruit mostly from spring to fall. Puerto Rico exported the finest West Indian satinwood until the 1920s, when the tree almost disappeared. The generic name derives from two Greek words meaning yellow wood. The species name means yellow, also in reference to the color of the wood.


The photographed tree is east of the General Library and is the only member of the species in the campus. Its small diameter and scarce foliage indicate that it grows under unfavorable conditions.

Zanthoxylum flavum (Rutaceae)