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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 12 | Sterculiaceae | Heritiera

2. Heritiera littoralis Aiton, Hort. Kew. 3: 546. 1789.

银叶树 yin ye shu

Evergreen trees, up to 10(-15) m tall; bark gray-brown. Young branchlets white scurfy scaly. Stipules lanceolate, caducous; petiole 1-2 cm; leaf blade oblong-lanceolate, elliptic, or ovate, 10-20 × 5-10 cm, leathery, abaxially densely silver-white scurfy scaly, adaxially glabrous or nearly so, base obtuse, apex acute or obtuse. Inflorescence paniculate, axillary, ca. 8 cm, densely stellate hairy or with scales. Calyx red-brown, campanulate, 4-6 mm, both surfaces stellate hairy, lobes triangular,
ca. 2 mm. Male flowers: disk thin, papillate. Androgynophore short and glabrous. Anthers 4 or 5, in 1 ring. Female flowers: carpels 4 or 5. Stigmas as many as carpels, short and curved downward. Fruit nutlike, woody, drying yellow-brown, nearly ellipsoid, ca. 6 × 3.5 cm, keeled on back, glabrous. Seeds ovoid, ca. 2 cm. Fl. summer.

Mangrove forests. Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Taiwan [Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Vietnam; E Africa, Australia].

The hard, strong timber is used for ships’ masts when sufficiently straight and long, as well as for house posts, joists, wheel hubs, and boat ribs.


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