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Sterculia oblonga Mast.

General Information

When walking through the forest the old fruit are sometimes the most obvious character of this species. The fruit are very hard and woody and after they open to release their seeds they persist for a long time on the ground. They are about 15 cm long. The tree itself can be very tall with buttresses. The whitish slash has been said to smell of cooked chicken, although one wonders if this kind of character says more about the lack of a varied diet in the forest than about the plant. There is no question, however, that many experienced field botanists use their sense of smell when making an identification. The flowers, like all members of the genus, have no petals; instead their function is replaced by those of the sepals. In this species the sepals have woolly hair, especially on the inner surfaces. Seedlings and saplings have very differently shaped leaves from the adults in this species.


Terra firma mixed species forest.


Distribution: Ivory Coast to DRC.