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Sterculia lanceolata


Sterculia lanceolata Cav.

Family Name: Sterculiaceae
Synonyms: Sterculia lanceolata var. coccinea ( (Jack) Phengklai), Camaion undulata, Sterculia balansae, Sterculia coccinea
Common Name: Scarlet Sterculia, Lanceleaf Sterculia


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants) (Dicotyledon)
Plant Growth Form Tree (Small (6m-15m))
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Southern China, Indochina

Description and Ethnobotany

Others - Plant Morphology Growth Form: Small evergreen tree. Habitat: Occurs near streams. Foliage: Smooth leaves are elliptic to lanceolate (9 - 20 cm long, 3.5 - 8 cm wide) with entire leaf margin. Flowers: Unisexual flowers are small and lack petals. The branched inflorescence is known as a panicle (4 - 10 cm long). Fruits: Dry, ellipsoid fruits known as follicles break open along 1 seam at maturity (5 - 7 cm long, 2 - 2.5 cm wide). Red fruits are softly hairy and contain 2 - 5 brown to black, ellipsoid seeds (1 cm long). Fruits occur in small, star-shaped clusters. Landscaping: The bright red fruits give this species an interesting look. It will grow well on slopes or near rivers and streams. In Hong Kong, it is widely planted in parks. Cultivation: This species should be planted in fertile, well draining soil that is kept moist. Apply mulch near the base to help retain soil moisture. It is attacked by Tyora congrua, an insect that feeds on phloem (sugar-rich plant sap). Propagation: Propagate by seed or stem cuttings. Etymology: The genus "Sterculia" is named after the Roman god Sterculius, the god of manure. The reference is to the foul-smelling flowers of some species in this genus. The species epithet "lanceolata" refers to the leaf shape which may be lanceolate.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Fruits

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Fruit, Seed and Spore

Mature Fruit Colour(s) - Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Red

Image Repository



Master ID 1843
Species ID 3136
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 18 February 2022.