Java Olive (Sterculia foetida)

Common names:
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Give a thumbs up Bastard Poon Tree
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Give a thumbs up Fetid Sterculia
Give a thumbs up Skunk Tree
Give a thumbs up Sour Chestnut

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Tree
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 10a -1.1 °C (30 °F) to +1.7 °C (35 °F)
Plant Height: 100 to 115 feet
Leaves: Unusual foliage color
Deciduous
Fruit: Other: source of biofuel
Fruiting Time: Late winter and early spring
Flowers: Showy
Malodorous
Flower Color: Russet
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Spring
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Street Tree
Uses: Shade Tree
Flowering Tree
Medicinal Herb
Vegetable
Edible Parts: Leaves
Roots
Seeds or Nuts
Fruit
Eating Methods: Raw
Cooked
Propagation: Seeds: Scarify seeds: allows water to penetrate
Days to germinate: 14
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Not suitable for containers

Image

Photo gallery:
Location: Hyderabad, IndiaDate: 2009-07-18Photo by J M Garg CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
By greene
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Location: Hyderabad, IndiaDate: 2009-07-18Photo by J M Garg CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
By greene
Give a thumbs up

Comments:
Posted by jmorth (central Illinois) on Dec 30, 2017 2:19 PM

This 'tropical chestnut' tree emits a foul smell that is clearly reflected in its scientific names. The genus name comes from the Roman god of fertilizer and manure, Sterquilinus, and the second part, (specific epithet) foetida, means stinking.
Growth can top out at 115 feet for this soft-wooded dioecious tree. Oil derived from the tree is comparable to olive oil. It also provides edible seeds, rootstock, and leaves. Don't overeat the seeds or you'll potentially start to smell like the tree. Additionally, the wood is workable and there are medical applications. It can be used as an ornamental tree.

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