Common name: Scarlet Sterculia • Marathi: कौशी Kaushi • Malayalam: Malamparathi • Bengali: Samarri pisi • Kannada: Mullumutga • Assamese: Jari-udal • Tamil: Malam herutti
Botanical name: Firmiana colorata Family: Sterculiaceae (Cacao family)
Synonyms: Erythropsis colorata, Sterculia colorata
The genus Sterculia was named after the Latin god Sterculius. Stercus
means dung. This name was given to this genus because of
the foul-smelling flowers and leaves of some Sterculia species.
Sterculia colorata is a medium-sized tree with spreading branches. It
sheds leaves before the onset of flowering. After leaf-shedding, buds
sprout and develop into flowers. The tree flowers from MarchApril. It
produces flowers in short dense panicles which occur at the ends of the
branches. The flowers are orange-red in colour and hang downwards. The
flowering stalks together with flowers are covered with fine downy hairs
giving the whole inflorescence a soft, velvety look. During flowering
phase, Colored Sterculia is quite prominent and presents a brilliant
sight because of its orange-red flowers against a leafless state.
The flowers are large, 30 mm long. The flower tube is 13 ± 0.8 mm long,
tubular at the base and lobed at the tip. Its rim is surrounded by white
soft hair. The corolla looks like it is united inside with the tubular
sepals at the base. From the centre of the calyx tube, a sta- minal
column protrudes bearing at its summit 30 anthers. Scarlet Sterculia
is common in the forests of the Western Ghats and the Deccan.
Identification credit: Pravin Kawale
|Photographs from Maharashtra & Bangalore.|