Panama Tree
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Panama Tree
D Introduced Photo: Gayathree Krishna
Common name: Panama Tree, Camoruco, Manduvi tree, Anacag├╝ita
Botanical name: Sterculia apetala    Family: Sterculiaceae (Cacao family)
Synonyms: Sterculia carthaginensis, Clompanus apetala, Helicteres apetala

Panama Tree is a deciduous tree with trunk straight, cylindrical, and large buttresses at the base, 20-40 m. Leaves are alternate, palmate with five lobes, and cluster densely at the end of branches. Including the leaf-stalk, leaf is 15-50 cm. Flowers are purple and yellow, and have five sepals, and no petals, 2.5-3.5 cm across, unisexual. Fruits are made up of up to 5 follicles, stemming from flower-cluster-stalks that can reach as long as 30 cm. Inside the follicles are seeds, as well as orange stinging hairs that may cause pain when touched. Panama Tree is native to Panama to S. Tropical America, rarely cultivated in India. Flowering: December-March.

Identification credit: Mahadeswara Swamy Photographed in Chennai, Tamilnadu.

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