18e by liuqingyan

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									           50 Common Trees in Hong Kong Volume 2


Scientific Name         Sterculia lanceolata

Name in Chinese         假蘋婆

Common Name             Scarlet sterculia, Lanceleaf sterculia

Introduction            Sterculia lanceolata is a kind of small local
                        evergreen wild tree. It is fast growing. It
                        prefers a sheltered sunny position with good
                        soil. It is suitable for planting on riverbanks
                        and hillsides. Wild growing specimens can
                        be found in many country parks in Hong
                        Kong.

Special Features        In summer, it is one of the most conspicuous
                        evergreen wild trees in Hong Kong on
                        account of its large vivid scarlet fruits. The
                        leaves are elliptical with acute apex and
                        blunt base. The leaf stalk is swollen at each
                        end. Some trees change their leaves in
                        June and July at a time when other trees are
                        usually in full foliage. The brown leaves and
                        bare branches stand out conspicuously and
                        make it easy to recognize.

To Learn More           Its fruits appear around the Weaver Maid
                        Festival (the seventh evenings of the
                        seventh months in Lunar calendar). Thus, it
                        is also named as the ‘Fruit of Weaver Maid’
                        in Chinese.
                        Its fruits are favourite of many birds in the
                        forests.




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                                          Characteristics
Whole Family       Sterculiaceae
Plant
      Height       Up to 12 metres

         Nature    Evergreen tree
         of Leaf
         Others    With a dense crown of foliage

         Photo     Shatin Park

Branch                Branches bending, not straight.
                      Low branching.



Bark                  Bark not smooth.




Leaf                  Simple leaves, alternate, elliptical, 7 to 16 cm in
                       length.
                      Apex acute, base blunt, margin entire.
                      Texture stiff, surfaces smooth and hairless, veins
                       obvious.
                      Leaf stalk swollen at each end.
Flower                Flowers unisexual, regular, both sexes grow on
                       the same tree; flowering in spring.
                      Corolla absent, calyx of 5 purplish-red pointed
                       sepals joined at the base to form a star shape.
                      Flowers in short branched panicles from leaf axils.

Fruit                 Radiating cluster of 5 follicles, about 5 cm in
                       length.
                      At first green, then turns yellow and finally
                       changes to a glowing red.
                      Splits along the lower side to expose rows of black
                       shining seeds when ripen.




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