PNGTreesKey – Sterculia quadrifida R.Br.


Barry Conn (NSW) & Kipiro Damas (LAE).
Guide to trees of Papua New Guinea
Copyright held by the authors, National Herbarium of New South Wales, and Papua New Guinea National Herbarium

Sterculia quadrifida R.Br.

Plantae Javanicae Rariores (1844)

Other Literature: A.J.G. Wilson, Flora of the Kimberley Region 196 (1992) Fig. 52 (G1-G3).

Family: Malvaceae

Timber Group: Commercial hardwood

Field Characters: Small sub-canopy tree (up to c. 20 m high); Bole cylindrical; straight; buttresses buttresses absent; spines spines absent; aerial roots aerial roots absent; stilt roots stilt roots absent; Bark grey (silvery), usually smooth; less than 25 mm thick; bark blaze consisting of one layer; faintly to non-aromatic; outer blaze yellow (pale (cream-coloured) or white, fibrous; inner blaze yellow (pale (cream-coloured) or white, fibrous; bark exudate (sap) absent; terminal buds not enclosed by leaves.

Indumentum: Complex hairs present, star-like (stellate); stinging hairs absent; mature twig indumentum (hairs) present when young or absent, hairs sparse.

Leaves: Leaves spaced along branches or clustered at end of branches, spiral (leaves occurring singly at a node and arranged spirally up the branchlet), simple (a leaf composed of a single blade); petiole present, not winged, not swollen; leaves broadest at or near middle, 8.5-23.0 cm, 5.0-18.0 cm; symmetric, entire, not dissected or lobed, obtuse or acuminate (shortly), venation pinnate, secondary veins open, prominent, intramarginal veins absent; leaves lower surface pale green or green, upper surface green, indumentum (hairs) present, indumentum (hairs) sparse (with stellate hairs on both surfaces); absent; domatia absent; stipules present, free, laterally placed, not encircling the twig, leafy, not fringed, large (c. 5 mm long), not persistent (soon dehiscent, only present at growing point of branchlets).

Flowers: Inflorescence axillary or terminal, flowers on a branched axis, cones absent; flowers unisexual, unisexual with male and female flowers on the same plant, stalked, flowers with many planes of symmetry, 8.0-10.0 mm long, diameter small (up to10 mm diam.) (c. 5 mm diam.); perianth present, with all sepals and/or petals (hence tepals) similar, inner perianth yellowish green or yellow; 4, some or partly joined (to form a perianth tube with 4 lobes); stamens 20 (c. (male flowers), absent, joined (forming a staminal tube around the ovary and style), free of the perianth; ovary superior, carpels separate (when more than one), locules 3-4; styles free, 3-4.

Fruits: Infrutescence arranged on branched axis, fruit 35.0-50.0 mm long, 18.0-30.0 mm diam., yellow, red when mature, orange when mature, or green, not spiny, non-fleshy, aggregate, dehiscent, follicle; seeds 2-4, about 10 mm long (12-13 mm long), not winged, broad (as wide as long) (black, glossy to subglossy), seed 1-10 mm diam. (c. 8 mm diam.).

Distribution: Morobe.

Sterculia quadrifida
Botanical records
in PNGplants database

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