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sterculia(stərkyo͞o`lēə), common name for some members of the Sterculiaceae, a family of herbs, shrubs, and trees of tropical and subtropical regions. The most important members of the family are the cacaocacao
, tropical tree (Theobroma cacao) of the family Sterculiaceae (sterculia family), native to South America, where it was first domesticated and was highly prized by the Aztecs. It has been extensively cultivated in the Old World since the Spanish conquest.
..... Click the link for more information. , source of cocoa and chocolate, and the colacola
tropical tree (genus Cola) of the family Sterculiaceae (sterculia family), native to Africa but now grown in other tropical regions. The fruit is a pod containing seeds from which is obtained caffeine, an alkaloid that functions as a stimulant.
..... Click the link for more information. , the caffeine-rich seeds of which are used commercially in soft drinks and medicines. Karaya, or Indian gum, from S. urens, is an inexpensive substitute for tragacanth. The family also includes several species cultivated as ornamentals, e.g., the flannel bush in the United States, the kurrajong in Australia, and the Chinese parasol tree. Sterculia is classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
..... Click the link for more information. , class Magnoliopsida, order Malvales.
a genus of trees of the family Sterculiaceae. The leaves are alternate. The flowers, which are unisexual and apetalous, are gathered in many-flowered panicles and often have an unpleasant odor. The fruits are follicles. There are 200 species (according to other data, as many as 300), distributed in the tropics, mainly in Asia and Africa. Many species are raised for their fiber and gum. S. wens, a tree reaching 10 m in height and having five-lobed petiolate leaves, grows wild in India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. It yields a gum, often called Indian tragacanth, which is used as an adhesive.agent in fabric printing, leather-making, and shoe manufacture. The seeds and young roots of some species are edible.