Sterculia guttata Roxb. ex DC.

Sterculia guttata Roxb. ex DC. (STERCULIACEAE)
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Common names
Kannada: Jenu kathala, Hulitaradu mara.
 Malayalam:
 Kithondi, Kavalam.
Tamil: Kavali, Thondi.

Description:  Trees, up to 20 m tall; bark much cracked, ash coloured, inner fibrous, rough with warts outside; young shoots clothed with stellate-tomentum. Leaves alternate, ovate-oblong, ovate-elliptic or obovate, up to 25 x 15 cm, subcordate, rounded or subtruncate at base, acute or abruptly shortly acuminate at apex, rusty stellate-pubescent beneath; petioles up to 5 cm long. Flowers in up to 15 cm long rusty tomentose panicles, brownish yellow. Calyx 5-lobed, densely pubescent outside, clothed with stellate hairs within. Corolla absent. Male flowers: anthers 10-15, Female flowers: Ovaries on gynophore, hairy with sterile anthers at base, style on staminal column curved; stigmas 5-lobed. Follicles, 2-5, obovoid, up to 12 x 5 cm, compressed, obscurely ribbed, brown tomentose, pink inside, red outside. Seeds 3-4 in each follicle, oblong up to 15 x 7 mm, with ferruginous stiff hairs, black.

Flowering : September -  May.
Fruiting:  February- August.

Distribution: India: In evergreen forests of Western Ghats up to 1200 m.  Assam, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andaman Islands. Sri Lanka and Malesia.

Uses: The seeds are roasted and eaten.