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Java olive (Sterculia foetida)

Kepuh or Java olive (Sterculia foetida) is a species of plant in the Malvaceae, tree with large habit, cylindrical trunk, growing up to 40 meters high, wide crown, many branches, tall buttress roots, grayish bark.

S. foetida has compound leaves, fingers, stalks 12.5-23 cm long and gathered at the ends of the twigs. The strands have 7-9 lobes, are oval in shape with a pointed tip and base and are green.

Dlium Java olive (Sterculia foetida)


The flowers are compound in panicles near the tip of the twig, 10-15 cm long and green or purple in color. The fruit is a large capsule, oval, fat, 7.6-9 cm long, 5 cm wide, woody, thick, bright red and brown, gathered in a star-shaped arrangement.

Each fruit contains 10-15 seeds, blackish in color, attached with yellow arils and 1.5-1.8 cm long.

The sapwood is white, while the heartwood is striped, yellow and has a fine texture. Wood is used as a light construction material in houses including curtains, ceiling frames, risplang and cast boards. Wood is also used to make boats, coffins and furniture.

Leaves to treat fever, wash hair, relieve pain in the feet and hands that are sprained or broken bones. Bark for abortivum. The skin of the fruit is burned to ashes and used to solidify the dye.



The seeds are roasted to eat or make chili sauce. The seeds contain 40% non-drying light yellow oil for bio-diesel, lamp oil, cooking oil and candles.

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Tracheophyta
Subphylum: Angiospermae
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Subfamily: Sterculioideae
Genus: Sterculia
Species: Sterculia foetida

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