Parkia, or locust tree, is native to Malaysia. It reaches a height of 120 feet, with a trunk 3 or more feet in diameter supported by prop roots. Leaves are over 1 foot long and have thousands of leaflets. Flowers are grouped in hanging round heads up to 2 inches in diameter, preceded by a long stalk or peduncle. Fruits are pods up to 8 inches long that turn brown when ripe and contain up to ten seeds surrounded by a white dry pulp. It flowers and produces fruits mostly during winter and spring. The generic name honors the Scottish explorer Mungo Park (1771-1806). The species name refers to the presence of two glands on the base of the leaf.

The photographed tree is west of the Chardón building and is the only member of the species in the campus. It was planted in 1976 by the Alumni Association to commemorate the university’s 65th anniversary.

Parkia biglandulosa (Fabaceae)