Sterculia alata Roxb.
A tall tree. Young parts with ferruginous pubescence. Leaves with 3-10 cm long petiole, crowded towards the ends of branches; lamina broadly ovate-cordate, 10-25 cm long, 7-15 cm broad, undulate, glabrous, acute or shortly acuminate. Raceme small, few-flowered. Flowers 1-1.5 cm across, pedicel 2-3 mm long. Sepals (4-)5(-7), nearly free, linear-lanceolate or elliptic, 1.2-1.5 cm long, 3-4 mm broad, fleshy, somewhat cucullate, densely ferruginous pubescent outside, sparsely pubescent and purple with red streaks within (seen in fresh material only). Anthers in male flowers united into 1-2 mm broad head on 4-6 mm long staminal column; in bisexual flowers sessile anthers are arranged in clusters of 4 or 5 in the sinuses formed by the carpels. Carpels 5;ovaries sessile, 2-3 mm long, pubescent; style recurved. Follicles large, woody, 7-12 cm in diameter, obliquely globose. Seeds c. 40 per follicle, oblong, compressed, in 2 rows, winged.
Type: Described from Coromandal, India.
Distribution: A native of south west India, Sikkim, Assam, Andamans, Burma and Bangla Desh (Chittagong, Sylhet); cultivated in gardens in Pakistan.
It is a handsome tree planted for shade in gardens and along roadside. Seeds are said to be edible and in Sylhet these are used as a substitute for opium.