Broomstick is native to Mexico, Central America, the Antilles, and the northern half of South America. It reaches a height of 65 feet, with a trunk 1.5 feet in diameter. The leaves are 1 foot or more in length and have up to 21 leaflets, the largest up to 4.5 inches long. Flowers are small and are grouped in branched inflorescences up to 7 inches long that appear at the bases of the leaves, male and female on separate trees. Fruits are capsules up to half an inch wide, that open in three sections to reveal an equal number of seeds covered by orange tissue that is consumed by birds. It flowers and produces fruits irregularly throughout the year. The generic name means in three parts, referring to the three sections of the fruit. The species name means hairy, in reference to the downy covering of the fruits and young branches.

The photographed tree is southeast of the chancellor’s house. There are other trees north of Building A, all probably propagated by birds.

Trichilia hirta (Meliaceae)