Kawkaw che

 
 

Kakaw che is native to Cuba, Mexico, Central America, and Colombia. It reaches a height of 50 feet, with a trunk 2 feet in diameter. The leaves are up to 5 inches long, they have three main veins, serrated borders, and a pale underside.  Flowers are up to 4 inches wide, white or pale yellow, and are grouped in branched inflorescences. Fruits are hard capsules about 1.5 inches long, which open in three to five sections to liberate winged seeds. In the campus it has been observed with flowers in September and with open fruits in May. The generic name honors the 18th Century German botanist Carl Emil von der Lühe. The species name means showy, beautiful.


The photographed tree is southwest of the Center for Research and Development's administrative office, and is the only member of the species in the campus.

Luehea speciosa (Malvaceae)