Sterculia foetida L.

Sterculia foetida L.




S. polyphylla R.Br.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Kelumpang jari (Peninsular).
Indonesia Kepoh (Javanese, Java), kabu-kabu (Batak, Sumatra), kalupat (Sulawesi).
Philippines Kalumpang (general).
Burma (Myanmar) Letpan-shaw.
Cambodia Samrong.

Samrong (central, eastern), homrong (peninsular), chammahong

(Chiang Mai).
Vietnam tr[oo]m.

Geographical Distributions

Sterculia foetida is distributed fromeastern Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), Indo-China, Thailand, throughout the Malesian region (but not reported for Sarawak and Papua New Guinea), northern Australia and Hawaii.


S. foetida is a medium-sized to fairly large deciduous tree, which is up to measure 40 m tall and with its bole is up to measure about 90(-120) cm in diametre. The buttresses are up to measure 1.5 m high, sparsely cracked bark surface and peel off into large pieces or slightly fissured and dippled, lenticellate and whitish-grey to greyish-brown in colour. The inner bark is fibrous, brown or reddish-brown in colour and stout twigs which is measure about 25 mm in diametre.

The leaves are palmately compound with (5-)6-10 leaflets, with a size of measure 10-25(-45) cm long petiole, caduceus stipules, elliptical to lanceolate in shape of leaflets, with a size measure about  (7-)12-15(-20) cm x (3-)4-6(-7) cm, acute at the base and glabrescent.

The inflorescence is an axillary or subterminal and paniculate. The sepal is with obconical tube that is hairy inside and 5 lance-shaped spreading lobes, which are much longer than the tube. The male flowers are with 14-15 anthers. The follicles are usually 5, suborbicular or boat-shaped, with a size of 8-14 cm long and red.

The measuring of  2-3 cm long seed is an ellipsoid and it is black in colour.


Ecology / Cultivation

S. foetida occurs in primary and secondary forest, often on river banks and on coral sandstone rocks along the coast, up to 1000 m altitude. The heartwood is pinkish and has a pungent smell. The density is 495-600(-760) kg/m3 at 15% moisture content.


Line Drawing / Photograph



    1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5(2): Timber trees: Minor commercial timbers.