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Bernieh's Garden

Sterculia Quadrifida - Peanut Tree or Orange-fruited Kurrajong

Genus: Sterculia.

Species: Sterculia Quadrifida.

Common name: Peanut Tree
Botanic name: Sterculia Quadrifida
Family: Malvaceae / Sterculiaceae

Australian native and found in dry, riverine and littoral rainforests from Coraki, NSW to Nthn Aust and PNG.
The tree grows to a height of 5 -10 metres and has a spreading deciduous canopy. The bark is a light grey. It is related to the Illawarra flame tree.

Leaves simple, alternate but often in pseudo-whorls, ovate or heart-shaped and 5-12cm long; shiny bright green on both sides with long petioles, swollen at both ends. Young leaves and stalks often hairy.

Flowers inconspicuous, are greenish-yellow, lemon-scented, and are borne in small clusters in the upper axils, occur from November to January (summer in Australia).

Fruit a large, eye-catching orange-red capsule - it's a follicle up to 8 cm long which, changes from green to orange-red on the outside at maturity. At this stage it splits open to reveal up to 8 black seeds that are edible raw or roasted and taste like raw peanuts. The seed coat or testa should be removed first when eating these.

Handsome, ornamental tree, deciduous in cooler areas(although they are deciduous here).They shed their leaves in about May (depending on the extent of the Wet season) and then regrow them after they've fruited, usually around August-September. Requires good drainage.

Propagate from very fresh seed, which germinates easily and quickly, sometimes within 3 days.

Used by aborigines in N Aust to treat wounds and stings.

Photos of this plant

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