Hazel sterculia


Hazel sterculia, or Java olive, is native to tropical Asia, from India to northern Australia. In its native range it reaches a height of 100 feet, with a trunk 3 or more feet in diameter surrounded by prop roots. The leaves are large and composed of seven to nine elongated leaflets. Flowers are up to 1 inch wide and are grouped in terminal inflorescences. Fruits are globular pods up to 4 inches long. The tree sheds its leaves at the end of winter and becomes covered with flowers in spring, after which the new foliage appears. Some flowering occurs until autumn. Pods open mostly during winter and spring. The generic name derives from Sterculius, the Greek god of excrement, or rather of the process of fertilizing fields with excrement of domestic animals. The species name means foul smelling and refers to the strong odor of the flowers.

The photographed tree is near the entrance to the Research and Development Center. There is another tree in this center and one behind the Chemical Engineering Building.

Sterculia foetida (Sterculiaceae)