Arboretum Images 6c

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    Palms        Bamboos        Agaves        Cactus        Conifers1        Conifers2        Legumes1        Legumes2        Figs (Ficus)  
    Trees1        Trees2        Trees3        Shrubs1        Shrubs2        Shrubs3        Wildflowers  
Edwin & Frances Hunter Arboretum Images 6c: Trees #3
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Willow Family (Salicaceae)

Fremont cottonwood (Populus fremontii) and new Palomar College Science Bldg.

Soapberry Family (Sapindaceae)

A soapberry seed necklace (Sapindus saponaria) from the Hawaiian Islands. This widespread species of tree occurs in the southwestern United States, Mexico and South America, west across the Pacific Basin on a number of islands to New Caledonia. On the island of Hawaii it grows in mesic forests on Hualalai, Mauna Loa and Kilauea. It also occurs in Africa where the seeds are used in the board game called mancala. On the Palomar College campus it grows near the Child Development Center, and soon will be planted in the Arboretum. The foaming action of soapberries is caused by saponins present in the leathery fruit wall (pericarp). Native soap lilies (Chlorogalum pomeridianum) in the Arboretum contain similar saponins in their bulbs that foam in water.

  See Article About Soap Lilies & Soapberries  

Flacourtia Family (Flacourtiaceae)

Guatemalan holly (Olmediella betscleriana). The distinctive fruits are common along the Arboretum trails above Palm Terrace. They are also common along trails in Guatemala near the ancient Maya city of Tikal. Mature fruits have a hard outer pericarp and are about 4 cm in diameter.

Chocolate Family (Sterculiaceae) = Malvaceae

The Australian bottle tree Brachychiton rupestris. The right photograph was taken on Horn & Hoof Mesa at the San Diego Zoo.

  Stinkhorn Fungus At Base Of Palomar's Bottle Tree In Spring 2006   

Pink flame tree (Brachychiton discolor) native to eastern Australia. The large fruit is technically a follicle, a single seed-bearing carpel that splits open along one seam.

  Identification of Fruit Types: The Follicle  

Pink flame tree (Brachychiton discolor) native to eastern Australia.

Bombax Family (Bombaceae) = Malvaceae

Floss Silk Tree (Ceiba speciosa), formerly Chorisia speciosa: A deciduous tree native to tropical and subtropical forests of South America. It belongs to the same genus as kapok tree (Ceiba pentandra), native to Central and South America. Both species produce seed capsules lined with masses of silky hairs.

Malvaceae (Mallow Family): Formerly In The Sterculiaceae

Putrid Flowers Of The Indian Almond
Stinking flowers are by no means limited to herbaceous perennials. In fact, a large rain forest tree of the Old World tropics called Indian almond (Sterculia foetida) produces masses of small, reddish-orange flowers with a disagreeable putrid stench. It belongs to the chocolate family (Sterculiaceae = Malvaceae) and produces edible seeds inside large, woody pods called follicles. The oily seeds are eaten raw, roasted or fried; however, if consumed in excessive quantities the seeds may have a purgative effect. The smelly blossoms leave a long-lasting, putrid scent in your carrying case or pack. This certainly happened to my backpack on a trip to the Hawaiian Islands.

Flowers and a follicle seed pod of "stinky sterculia" or Indian almond (Sterculia foetida). A. View of seeds inside one follicle (carpel). B. Flowers from the inflorescence. C. Close-up view of one flower. D. Mature fruit composed of 5 many-seeded follicles. The speciific epithet foetida is derived from the putrid odor of the blossoms. This species is also called "Java almond" and the seeds are eaten raw, roasted or fried. It was formerly placed in the family Sterculiaceae; however DNA cladistical analysis shows that it belongs in the mallow family (Malvaceae). I once placed the flowers and seed pods of this tree into a luggage bag and the putred odor in my bag persisted for several years!

Drift Fruits In The Mallow Family (Malvaceae)
Some Of These Formerly In The Sterculiaceae & Tiliaceae

  Interesting Drift Fruits & Seeds That Ride The Ocean Currents  
During the late 1980s & 1990s, I went on many Palomar College marine biology field trips to the Yucatan Peninsula, Caribbean, Central & South America with my dear colleagues Lester Knapp, Nancy Jessop, Robert Ebert and Candice Francis. Since I was not an avid snorkler or scuba diver, I specialized in the identification of drift fruits and seeds that wash ashore on tropical beaches, some of which can travel for months at sea and thousands of miles to distant continents. I recently discovered that two of the species in above link are members of the mallow family (Malvaceae).

One of the most remarkable drift fruits (F on above link) is the dry seed pod of Heritiera littoralis (formerly in the Sterculiaceae), an Asian tree of mud flats and river deltas. The common name "looking glass mangrove" refers to the silvery underside of leaves that resembe mirrors. It is also called "keel-pod mangrove" for obvious reasons. The woody fruit contains space around the seed for buoyancy and is keeled, presumably to aid in flotation. It is native to Asia, Southeast Asia and Tropical Africa, with a drift range from Madagascar to the Fiji Islands. It has also been reported from the northern coast of Europe and as far north as Finland. However, according to following article in The Drifting Seed by Mikko Piirainen of the Finnish Museum of Natural History, these curious pods have been imported to the Netherlands and are sold in flower shops. They may have been dispersed by people. By the way, I did not find my Heritiera pod in the Caribbean. I am not sure where I got it (possibly a shop selling sea shells), but it certainly is one of my favorite drift fruits.

  Article About Heritiera In Finland: The Drifting Seed May 2007  

Apeiba aspera (Monkeycomb)
  Interesting Drift Fruits & Seeds That Ride The Ocean Currents  

This is i (I) in above link to assortment of tropical seeds and fruits, most of which are adapted to dispersal by ocean currents. Although monkeycomb is probably not a true drift fruit, it is included here because: (1) It is included in my image assortment (one of the few images on Wayne's Word with image mapping; (2) It is one of the most unusual seed-bearing fruits I have ever seen; (3) And most importantly, it belongs to the mallow family Malvaceae.
Monkeycomb Formerly In The Basswood Family (Tiliaceae)

Fruits of the monkeycomb (Apeiba aspera), an interesting Costa Rican tree in the basswood family (Tiliaceae). A. Large fruit covered with spines that superficially resembles a sea urchin. The fruits are used as hair brushes and are sold in the marketplace. B. Fruit with the spines worn off that resembles the tuberculate test (shell) of a sea urchin. C. The tuberculate test (shell) of a sea urchin. Although these are not usually considered drift fruits, they are shown here because they are so unusual.

Mallow Family (Malvaceae)

The cow itch tree (Lagunaria pattersonii) produces seed capsules lined with numerous stiff hairs. The trichomes can irritate the skin if the pods are handled carelessly. This species is native to Norfolk Island and Australia.

Euphorbia Family (Euphorbiaceae)

Left: Male, stamen-bearing flowers of the tung oil tree (Aleurites fordii), a deciduous shade tree native to China. Right: Female flower of the tung oil tree showing a seed-bearing pistil (gynoecium). Tung oil comes from the large, oily seeds. For centuries tung oil has been used for paints and waterproof coatings, and as a component of caulk and mortar. It is an ingredient in "India ink" and is commonly used for a lustrous finish on wood. In fact, the "teak oil" sold for fine furniture is usually refined tung oil. Some woodworkers consider tung oil to be one of the best natural finishes for wood. The closely-related candlenut tree (A. molucanna) is the state tree of Hawaii. The polished seeds are known as kukui nuts and are commonly strung into beautiful necklaces and bracelets.

  Read About Tung Oil & Kakui Nuts  

Toog (Bischofia javanica), an Asian tree with trifoliate leaves.

Queensland poplar (Homalanthus populifolius)

  Read About The Diverse Euphorbia Family  

Citrus Family (Rutaceae)

Cape chestnut (Calodendron capense) native to South Africa.

  More Images of the Cape Chestnut