Thursday, December 25, 2008

Flower Signage: Long-Leaved Sterculia

2 comments:

Lynne said...

Those seeds look hallucinogenic. Do not let anyone talk you into eating strange seeds. But you know that, don't you?

roubeta

Barry said...

Sterculia seeds aren't really poisonous, and most species are edible in smallish quantities. Overdo it and they can cause some digestive distress, though.

There are many species of Sterculia in the wet and dry tropics of the world, but the type species, Sterculia foetida, gave the genus its name. The flowers smell very convincingly like cow dung, which is very attractive to the flies that pollinate them.

Sterculius was the Roman god of dung, hence Sterculia, and the family Sterculiaceae.

One of the Sterculiaceae family members I grow, Firmiana colorata, makes a very convincing broken sewer pipe smell when the new foliage is coming in. Very concincing.