Pterospermum semisagittatum Buch.-Ham. ex Roxb. - STERCULIACEAE

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Botanical descriptions Habitat and ecology Distribution

Botanical descriptions :

Diagnostic characters : Simple leaves with strong sagittate base, stipules present.
Habit : Deciduous or evergreen tree up to 15 m tall.
Trunk & bark : Bole straight, bark brown, slightly flaky.
Branches and branchlets or twigs : Twigs terete, hairy.
Exudates : Exudate absent.
Leaves : Leaves alternate and spiral, elliptic, below pubescent with stellate hairs, apex cuspidate, base asymmetrical, one side strongly arrow-shaped, margin strongly toothed in upper half.
Basal veins 3-5, secondary veins oblique, tertiary veins oblique.
Stipules present, large, free.
Inflorescences or flowers : Flowers solitary, axillary, bisexual, pedicels longer than 0.5 cm.
Fruits : Fruit a capsule, up to 8 cm long, woody, splitting in 5 sections.
Seeds : Seeds many, ovoid with a thin wing.

Habitat and ecology :

Scattered in secondary and primary evergreen forest.

Distribution :

Burma (Myanmar), India, Indochina, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos (Khammouan).

Remark/notes/uses :
The heavy wood is durable and used as house columns. The bark is said to be used together with betel quid, replacing Areca nut, and the bark fibres have been used for cordage.

Specimens studied :
BT 261 (Herbarium of Faculty of Sciences-NUoL, NHN-Leiden and CIRAD-Montpellier).

Literature :
Gardner S., Sidisunthorn P. & Anusarnsunthorn V. 2000. A field guide to Forest Trees of Northern Thailand. Kobfai Publishing Project. Bangkok. Thailand.

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