sterculia

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n sterculia any tree of the genus Sterculia
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n sterculia A genus of plants, type of the order Sterculiaceæ, and of the tribe Sterculieæ. It is characterized by a stamen-column usually with fifteen anthers crowded without regular order, a five-celled ovary with two or more ovules in each cell, and a fruit of distinct spreading dehiscent carpels. There are about 85 species, natives of warm climates, especially of tropical Asia. They are most commonly large trees, with simple feather-veined leaves, and unisexual flowers in drooping panicles, with a colored bell-shaped calyx, and a fruit of five radiating woody follicles opening on the upper edge; but none of these characters is universal. Their inner bark is composed of a tough fiber which is not affected by moisture, and is in many species a valuable material for cordage, mats, bags, paper, or tow for upholstering. Their seeds are filled with an oil which may be used for lamps, and are slightly acrid but often edible. They are mucilaginous, and often exude an abundance of gum resembling gum tragacanth, swelling into a jelly in cold water without dissolving. S. urens, and perhaps other species, furnish a share of the Indian tragacanth, or kuteera gum; S. Tragacantha of western Africa yields the African or Senegal tragacanth. S. acerifolia of is New South Wales, a large tree sometimes 80 feet high and 8 feet in girth, with large lobed leaves and racemes of showy red flowers, is known as flame-tree, and also as lacebark from its beautiful lace-like inner bark, which becomes 2 inches thick and is valued for many uses. S. diversifolia, the Victorian bottle-tree, or currijong, is a stout tree with coarser fiber: for the similar S. rupestris, see bottle-tree, and for S. villosa, see oadal. S. lurida, the sycamore of New South Wales, also yields a fiber, there made into fancy articles. S. quadrifida, the calool of eastern and northern Australia, produces clusters of brilliant scarlet fruits, each with ten or eleven black seeds resembling filberts in taste, and eaten as a substitute for them. S. Carthaginensis (S. Chicha), the chicha or panama, yields seeds eaten as nuts in Brazil and northward; it is a handsome tree with yellowish purple-spotted flowers. S. fœtida (see stavewood) is the source of some native remedies in Java. S. alata has been called Buddha's cocoanut; S. platanifolia of Japan and China, sultan's parasol. See mahoe and cassoumba.
    • n sterculia In entomology, a genus of coleopterous insects.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Sterculia ster-kū′li-a the typical genus of Sterculiaceæ, a family of large trees and shrubs, with mucilaginous and demulcent properties—Gum-tragacanth, &c.
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. stercus, dung.

Usage

In literature:

Kurrajong, tree; a sterculia.
"The Euahlayi Tribe" by K. Langloh Parker
Sterculia was frequent, and we collected a great quantity of its ripe seeds.
"Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia" by Ludwig Leichhardt
Sterculiaceae : Sterculia, sp.
"Narrative of a Survey of the Intertropical and Western Coasts of Australia" by Phillip Parker King
The principal hill consisted of traprock, and was so naked that only one or two trees of the Sterculia heterophylla grew upon it.
"Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Vol 1 (of 2)" by Thomas Mitchell
Sterculia flowers were observed on the ground.
"Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and TheNeighbouring Countries" by William Griffith
Sterculia campanulata, Teressa Do.
"In the Andamans and Nicobars" by C. Boden Kloss
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