Sterculia foetida "Oil Nut" Organic Well-Established Plant
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These are organically grown and well-established plants; we sell them at a standard size of 15-20" tall. This tree is native to East Africa and can also now be found in Asia and Australia. This is a very dignified looking tree and mature specimens never fail to attract attention. They can reach heights of up to 40ft with a horizontal, spreading canopy and smooth, grey bark with brown mottling. The trunk is often in a twisted, leaning, or gnarled form. At the end of each branch are clusters of leaves offering another unique quality to it. When the tree is in bloom clusters of flowers join the leaves at the end of each gnarled branch. The flowers are most commonly colored a crimsom with yellow trim but are often many other colors as well. These flowers are not overly pleasant smelling when they first open. Shortly after bloom sets in, peculiar small crimson fruits appear. Each fruit contains a nut about the size of a peanut and these nuts are where the common name comes from.
Traditional & Modern Use:
The tasty nuts contain a very high quality oil and In South East Asia they are often used in cooking much like peanuts. It is said though that eating too many of these nuts may cause intoxication and a sort of "drunkenness". Ethnobotanically, the leaves and bark have a myriad of uses. The leaves contain compounds that work as Central Nervous System depressants and also can be very effective with pain relief. The seeds contain up to 37% of the high grade oil and can be used as a 'carrier' for many medicines.