Sweetpea, or sacky sac bean, is native to Mexico, Central America, the Antilles, and South America. It reaches a height of 80 feet, with a trunk 2 feet in diameter and a rounded crown. The leaves are composed of two pairs of leaflets, the apical ones are up to 4 inches long. Flowers are grouped in lateral or terminal spikes up to 6 inches long. Fruits are pods up to 4.5 inches long that fall to the ground intact, the seeds are surrounded by a cottony, sweet pulp. It flowers and produces fruits irregularly throughout the year. The generic name derives from the Antillean indian name for the fruit and the tree. The species name means resembling a laurel.

The photographed tree is one of two specimens located northwest of the Chemical Engineering Building. There’s another tree and west of the stands of the old athletic field.

Inga laurina (Fabaceae)