Raintree, or monkeypod, is native to Central America and northern South America. It was introduced to Puerto Rico in the 16th century. It reaches a height of 150 feet, with a trunk 8 feet in diameter. The leaves are up to 16 inches long and twice compound, leaflets close late in the afternoon or when cloudy. Flowers are grouped in delicate inflorescences up to 2.5 inches in diameter. Fruits are pods up to 10 inches long that contain up to 20 seeds surrounded by a sticky pulp with a taste of raisins. It flowers from spring to fall and fruits mature from autumn to spring. Cattle and other animals eat the fruits and disperse the seeds. The generic and specific names name derives from the native name for the tree in South America.

The photographed tree is north of the Art Museum and Academic Senate Building. There are much larger trees east of the de Diego Building, northwest of the chancellor’s house, and just before the stairway leading to the Luchetti building; these three trees were planted in 1917 by Henry Cowles. There’s a young tree northwest of the Band and Orchestra Department.

Samanea saman (Fabaceae)