PEANUT TREE Sterculia quadrifida

DESCRIPTION : A handsome, bushy tree, growing between 6 to 10 m in the garden. The ovate to heart-shaped leaves 15cm long on slender petioles, form in whorls. The lemon-scented, greenish-yellow flowers are inconspicuous compared to the showy, orange-red pods with their satiny black seeds, which form generally between November to January. Some of the leaves are dropped in winter, and in the cooler areas the tree may be deciduous. Plants will tolerate light frost and are not too fussy about soil type but they do prefer an open, sunny, well drained site.

USES : The seeds are edible either raw or roasted and taste somewhat like peanuts. The Aborigines use the leaves to treat wounds and stings.