1. Family: Malvaceae Juss.
    1. Genus: Sterculia L.
      1. Sterculia tragacantha Lindl.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is W. Tropical Africa to W. Tanzania and Zambia.

    [FWTA]

    Sterculiaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:2. 1958

    Habit
    A tree
    Ecology
    Of the open parts or edges of forests
    Height
    Up to 80 ft. high
    Bole
    Bole 30–40 ft., sometimes buttressed
    Bark
    Grey corky bark
    Exudate
    Yielding a coloured gum
    Flowers
    Conspicuous with red-purple flowers about Jan.–Feb.
    Fruits
    Fruit bright red turning brown.
    [FTEA]

    Sterculiaceae, Martin Cheek & Laurence Dorr; Nesogordonia, Laurence Dorr, Lisa Barnett. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 2007

    Type
    Type: Sierra Leone, cult. England, Bot. Reg. 16, t. 1353 (1830)
    Habit
    Tree 3–24 m tall.
    Bole
    Bole cylindrical, sometimes with fluted buttresses.
    Bark
    Bark rough, grey or greyish brown, often deeply fissured; slash pale pink or pale orange, quickly becoming deep orange, exudate clear.
    Branches
    Flora districts: Ultimate branchlets rough and grey, 5–10 mm thick, the apex rusty tomentose
    Leaves
    Leaf-blade elliptic-oblong or slightly obovate, (6.5–)11–21(–30) cm long, (4.7–)6.5–13(–16) cm wide, apex rounded to acuminate, base truncate, rounded, or subcordate, texture papery or leathery, glabrous, sometimes glossy above, tomentose (sometimes tomentellous in shade or on sucker growth) with red-brown 5–6-armed stellate hairs beneath.
    Petiole
    Petiole terete, slightly swollen at base and tip, (2.5–)5–7.5 cm long, 1–2 mm wide, tomentellous with pale brown stellate hairs; stipules caducous
    Inflorescences
    Inflorescences borne with the leaves, 2–10 per stem, each inflorescence 10–14(–22) cm long, 2.5–5(–8) cm wide, 2–3 mm thick at the base, with 20–25(–30) branches; pedicels 1–4.5 mm long
    Flowers
    Flowers with perianth campanulate, rose-pink, pinkish or brownish purple, rarely green tinged with red, 4–7(–8) mm long, 3–5 mm wide, divided into 5 acute lobes 3–4 mm long, 1.5 mm wide, cohering at the apex, margins reflexed, outer surface with a mixture of short, wide, flaccid, ± appressed, colourless hairs and fine, pale brown stellate hairs; inner surface glabrous apart from the extreme base and the lobes which densely covered in long, stout pointed, patent white or purple hairs
    Fruits
    Fruit with 3–5 follicles, follicles ellipsoid, 5.7–10 cm long, 2.5 cm wide, dehiscing flat, then 3.6–8.9 cm long, 4–8 cm wide, rostrum rather short, blunt, 3–5(–10) mm long, stipe stout, (0.5–)1(–2) cm long, pericarp thick, woody, 2–3 mm thick, outer surface red, then rusty brown, tomentellous, inner surface yellow-brown, stiffly and thickly tomentose.
    Seeds
    Seeds glossy black, ellipsoid, 10–13(–18) mm long, 7–9(–12) mm wide, hilum white, terminal, elliptic, 1–2 mm long, with a small, globose, orange aril 0.5–1 mm wide on a short margin; seeds sessile, leaving a white scar on the pericarp wall
    Figures
    Fig 1/3, 10, p 6
    Ecology
    Swamp and riverine forest; 750–1700 m
    Conservation
    This species is here assessed as “Least Concern” in view of its large geographic range. It is a fast-growing pioneer species.
    Note
    This plant has been reported, presumably on account of its specific epithet, to be a source of gum tragacanth. However, that production is derived only from species of Astragalus (Leguminosae). Whilst the gum from Sterculia tragacantha may resemble that of gum tragacanth as Lindley (Bot. Reg. 16: t.1353 (1830)) has mentioned, no reference has been found to its use as a substitute. Sterculia tragacantha is closely related to S. schliebenii and S. dawei, q.v. for diagnostic characters.
    Distribution
    Flora districts: T4 Range: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Congo-Kinshasa, Rwanda, Angola, Zambia
    [FZ]

    Sterculiaceae, H. Wild. Flora Zambesiaca 1:2. 1961

    Habit
    Large tree 15 m. tall or more, with smooth greyish bark and stiff rugose branchlets.
    Leaves
    Leaves collected towards the ends of the branches; lamina up to 20 × 12 cm., leathery, entire, broadly oblong, obovate-oblong, or ovate-oblong, apex obtuse or abruptly acuminate, base rounded or slightly cordate, penninerved, thinly pubescent or glabrescent above, more or less ferruginously tomentose beneath; petiole up to 5 cm. long.
    Flowers
    Flowers reddish, in harshly pubescent panicles c. 12 cm. long, clustered at the ends of the branches. Female flower: ovary ovoid, tomentose, with a ring of vestigial anthers at its base, on a glabrous gynophore up to 1 mm. long; style c. 1 mm. long, tomentose. Male flower: stamens numerous, in a capitate globose cluster on a glabrous androphore c. 2 mm. long surrounded by a ring of hairs at its base.
    Calyx
    Calyx campanulate, divided to about half-way into 4–6 narrowly oblong lobes which are coherent at their tips, pubescent outside and on the lobes within.
    Male
    Male flower: stamens numerous, in a capitate globose cluster on a glabrous androphore c. 2 mm. long surrounded by a ring of hairs at its base.
    Female
    Female flower: ovary ovoid, tomentose, with a ring of vestigial anthers at its base, on a glabrous gynophore up to 1 mm. long; style c. 1 mm. long, tomentose.
    Fruits
    Follicles c. 5 cm. long, ellipsoid with an acute apiculus, ferruginously tomentose outside and inside.
    Seeds
    Seeds c. 1·6 × 1·2 cm., oblong-ellipsoid; testa black; aril small and yellow.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Benin, Burkina, Burundi, Cabinda, Cameroon, Central African Repu, Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Gulf of Guinea Is., Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia, Zaïre

    Introduced into:

    Cuba, Honduras

    Sterculia tragacantha Lindl. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jul 1, 2002 Etuge, M. [1787], Cameroon K000027394
    Jul 1, 2002 Etuge, M. [247], Cameroon K000094711
    Jul 1, 2002 Onana, J.-M. [932], Cameroon K000027395
    Jul 1, 2002 Ghogue, J.-P. [471], Cameroon K000027396
    Jul 1, 1999 Etuge, M. [4202], Cameroon K000027393
    Jan 1, 1997 Ndam, N. [1257], Cameroon K000381391
    Jul 1, 1996 Cheek, M. [7531], Cameroon K000106201
    Nov 1, 1995 Lane, P. [510], Cameroon K000085477
    Nov 1, 1995 Lane, P. [510], Cameroon K000085478
    Nov 1, 1995 Elad, M. [107], Cameroon K000086695
    Jan 1, 1994 Cheek, M. [5512], Cameroon K000086696
    Jan 1, 1994 Ndam, N. [783], Cameroon K000381387
    Jan 1, 1986 Thomas, D.W. [5555], Cameroon K000094688
    Jan 1, 1986 Thomas, D.W. [5555], Cameroon K000094689
    Jan 1, 1986 Thomas, D.W. [5463], Cameroon K000094692
    Brenan, J.P.M. [8476], Nigeria 16553.000
    Troupin, G. [4507], Congo, DRC 11837.000
    Dalziel, J.M. [8180], Cameroon K000094704
    Scott Elliot, G.F. [4465], Sierra Leone K000240962
    Maitland, T.D. [366], Cameroon K000094696
    Maitland, T.D. [372], Cameroon K000094697
    Maitland, T.D. [372], Cameroon K000094698
    Maitland, T.D. [179], Cameroon K000094703
    Maitland, T.D. [138], Cameroon K000094705
    Lovi, N.K. [3848], Ghana 16554.000
    Binuyo, A. [FHI 35526], Cameroon K000094693
    Mann, G. [759], Cameroon K000094701
    Thomas, D.W. [727], Cameroon 41226.000
    Thomas, D.W. [727], Cameroon K000094687
    Thomas, D.W. [3069], Cameroon K000094691
    Cheek, M. [3260], Cameroon K000094690
    Green, Ghana 49864.000
    Lindley [s.n.], Sierra Leone K000240963
    Rudatis, H. [33], Cameroon K000094694
    [Don, S.] [s.n.], Sierra Leone K000240961
    Ndi [50358], Cameroon K000094699
    Bonny [68], Cameroon K000094702
    Adebusuyi, E. [44031], Cameroon K000094695

    First published in Edwards's Bot. Reg. 16: t. 1353 (1830)

    Accepted by

    • Velayos, M., Barberá, P., Cabezas, F.J., de la Estrella, M., Fero, M. & Aedo, C. (2014). Checklist of the vascular plants of Annobón (Equatorial Guinea) Phytotaxa 171: 1-78.
    • Thiombiano, A., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Ouédraogo, A., Hahn, K. & Zizka, G. (2012). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Burkina Faso Boissiera 65: 1-391.
    • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.
    • Figueiredo, E., Paiva, J., Stévart, T., Oliveira, F. & Smith, G.F. (2011). Annotated catalogue of the flowering plants of São Tomé and Príncipe Bothalia, A Journal of Botanical Research 41: 41-82.
    • Lejoly, J. & Geerinck, D. (2010). Flore de la Tshopo (RD Congo): Familles des Malvaceae, Orchidaceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae Taxonomania 29: 1-41.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Cheek, M. & Dorr, L. (2007). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Sterculiaceae: 1-134.
    • Catarino, L., Martins, E.S., Diniz, M.A. & Pinto-Basto, M.F. (2006). Check-list da flora vascular do parque natural das Lagos de Cufada (Guiné-Bissau) Garcia de Orta, Série de Botânica 17: 97-141.
    • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
    • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
    • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
    • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
    • Troupin, G. (ed.) (1983). Flora du Rwanda 2: 1-603. Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale.
    • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 1: 1-114. ORSTROM, Bangui.
    • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 3: 1-89. ORSTROM, Bangui.
    • Lewalle, J. (1970). Liste floristique et répartition altitudinale de la flore du Burundi occidental: 1-84. Université officielle de Bujumbura.
    • Exell, A.W. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1961). Flora Zambesiaca 1(2): 337-581. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Hutchinson, J., Dalziel, J.M. & Keay, R.W.J. (1954-1958). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 1-828.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    • Aubrév. Fl. For. C. Iv. 2: 234, t. 218, 6–9
    • Kennedy For. Fl. S. Nig. 63
    • Chev. Bot. 77
    • K. Schum. in Engl. Monogr. Afr. Sterculiac. 102 (1900)
    • —F.T.A. 1: 216
    Kew Backbone Distributions
    • Thiombiano, A., Schmidt, M., Dressler, S., Ouédraogo, A., Hahn, K. & Zizka, G. (2012). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Burkina Faso Boissiera 65: 1-391.
    • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & Strong, M.T. (2012). Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies Smithsonian Contributions to Botany 98: 1-1192.
    • Figueiredo, E., Paiva, J., Stévart, T., Oliveira, F. & Smith, G.F. (2011). Annotated catalogue of the flowering plants of São Tomé and Príncipe Bothalia, A Journal of Botanical Research 41: 41-82.
    • Lejoly, J. & Geerinck, D. (2010). Flore de la Tshopo (RD Congo): Familles des Malvaceae, Orchidaceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae Taxonomania 29: 1-41.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Cheek, M. & Dorr, L. (2007). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Sterculiaceae: 1-134.
    • Catarino, L., Martins, E.S., Diniz, M.A. & Pinto-Basto, M.F. (2006). Check-list da flora vascular do parque natural das Lagos de Cufada (Guiné-Bissau) Garcia de Orta, Série de Botânica 17: 97-141.
    • Sosef, M.S.M. & al. (2006). Check-list des plantes vasculaires du Gabon Scripta Botanica Belgica 35: 1-438.
    • Akoègninou, A., van der Burg, W.J. & van der Maesen, L.J.G. (eds.) (2006). Flore Analytique du Bénin: 1-1034. Backhuys Publishers.
    • Sita, P. & Moutsambote, J.-M. (2005). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Congo, ed. sept. 2005: 1-158. ORSTOM, Centre de Brazzaville.
    • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
    • Troupin, G. (ed.) (1983). Flora du Rwanda 2: 1-603. Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale.
    • Boulvert, Y. (1977). Catalogue de la Flore de Centrafrique 1: 1-114. ORSTROM, Bangui.
    • Lewalle, J. (1970). Liste floristique et répartition altitudinale de la flore du Burundi occidental: 1-84. Université officielle de Bujumbura.
    • Exell, A.W. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1961). Flora Zambesiaca 1(2): 337-581. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Hutchinson, J., Dalziel, J.M. & Keay, R.W.J. (1954-1958). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 1-828.
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    • Flore Pl. Lign. Rwanda: 667, t. 230/1 (1982).
    • F.C.B. 10: 269 (1963)
    • F.Z. 1: 556, t. 104/C (1961)
    • E.M. 5: 102, t. 9/F (1900)
    • F.T.A. 1: 216 (1868)
    • Bot. Reg. 16: t. 1353 (1830)

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2019. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0