Gmelina, or white-beech, is native to southern China and from India to Indonesia and the Philippines. It was introduced to America in the 1960s and has become one of the most important trees for the production of wood and pulp. In its native distribution it reaches a height of 130 feet, with a trunk 4.5 feet in diameter. The leaves are up to 10 inches long. Flowers are 1.5 inches wide and have a long petal that serves as a platform for bees. Fruits are up to 1.25 inches wide and sour-sweet. It flowers from autumn to spring, fruits fall mainly during spring and summer. The generic name honors the German botanist Johann Georg Gmelin (1709-1755). The species name refers to the shape of the plant.

The two photographed trees are in front of the Admissions Office and are the only members of the species in the campus. They were propagated from seeds brought from the Dominican Republic by José A. Ramos.

Gmelina arborea (Lamiaceae)