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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 12 | Bombacaceae | Pachira

1. Pachira aquatica Aublet, Hist. Pl. Guiane. 2: 726. 1775.

瓜栗 gua li

Bombax aquaticum (Aublet) K. Schumann; B. macrocarpum (Schlechtendal & Chamisso) K. Schumann; Carolinea macrocarpa Schlechtendal & Chamisso; C. princeps Linnaeus f., nom. illeg. superfl.; Pachira macrocarpa (Schlechtendal & Chamisso) Walpers.

Small trees 4-5(-18) m tall; young branchlets brown, glabrous. Petiole 11-15 cm, ferruginous stellate tomentose; leaflets 5-11, slightly petiolulate or subsessile, leaflet blade oblong to obovate-oblong, abaxially ferruginous stellate tomentose, adaxially glabrous, base cuneate, margin entire, apex acuminate; central leaflet 13-24 × 4.5-8 cm, size decreasing outward; midrib abaxially prominently raised, adaxially flat, lateral veins 16-20 per side of midrib, straight, connected near margin, veinlets thin and dense, prominently raised abaxially. Flowers solitary, axillary near twig tips. Pedicel robust, ca. 2 cm, yellow stellate tomentose, glabrescent. Calyx cup-shaped, nearly leathery, ca. 1.5 × 1.3 cm in diam., abaxially sparsely stellate pilose, adaxially glabrous, truncate or obscurely 3-6-toothed, persistent, with 2-3 globose glands at base. Petals yellowish green, narrowly lanceolate or filiform, up to 15 cm, distal half reflexed. Staminal tube short, proximally yellow, distally red, 13-15 cm including filaments; anthers 2-3 mm. Style dark red, longer than stamens; stigma minute. Capsule nearly pyriform, 9-10 × 4-6 cm, endocarp yellow-brown, thick, woody, abaxially glabrous, adaxially densely long woolly. Seeds many per cell, dark brown with white spirals, 2-2.5 × 1-1.5 cm. Fl. May-Nov.

Cultivated. Guangdong, Taiwan, S Yunnan [native to tropical America, now cultivated and naturalized throughout the tropics].

The seeds are edible raw or roasted. Bonsai plants of this species are very tolerant of drought and shade and are sold in many countries as houseplants. Such plants usually have braided stems.


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