Guiana-chestnut

 
 

Guiana-chestnut is native to wet regions of southern Mexico, Central America, and the northern half of South America. It is planted for ornament, is ocasionally sold in pots with three or more twisted stems, and is used to make bonsai. It reaches a height of 65 feet, with a trunk 3 feet in diameter. The leaves have a long petiole and up to nine leaflets, the largest up to 8 inches long. Flowers are large and very showy, but last only one day; they produce a strong aroma and are pollinated mostly by bats. Fruits are up to 1 foot long and contain some 25 seeds that may be eaten raw or roasted. It flowers during summer and autumn, fruits mature during fall and winter. The generic name derives from a Greek word meaning thick or from a name for the tree in the Guianas. The species name indicates that it lives near water.


The photographed tree is along the walkway leading from the Piñero Building to the main student parking lot, and is the only member of the species in the campus.

Pachira aquatica (Malvaceae)