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Sterculia quadrifida (STERCULIACEAE) Peanut Tree

Foliage

Sterculia Quadrifida - Peanut Tree
PHOTO: Robert Whyte

Medium tree to 6 - 18m with simple, alternate leaves in pseudo-whorls, 5 12cm, shiny bright green with long petioles. Deciduous in cooler areas.

Requires good drainage and can withstand drought by means of a water conserving root tuber.

Flowers


Sterculia quadrifida
Photo: Robert Whyte

Compared to the dramatic fruit, relatively inconspicuous, creamy-white, lemon-scented flowers November to January.

Fruit


Sterculia quadrifida
Photo: Robert Whyte

Large, eye-catching red fruit with about 8 shiny black seeds. Raw or roasted seeds taste similar to peanuts. Sap used by Aborigines in N Australia to treat wounds and stings.

Fruit, undersides of foliage


Sterculia quadrifida
Photo: Robert Whyte

The Sterculiaceae include some towering tropical trees from South America. The name comes from Stercules, the god of rubbish dumps, for the unpleasant odour of some species.