- any of various tropical trees of the genus Sterculia, of which some species are grown as ornamentals and some are the source of commercially valuable wood.
Origin of sterculia
1765–75; < New Latin, equivalent to Latin Stercul(us) a Roman deity supposed to have invented manuring (derivative of stercus manure, excrement) + ia -ia; from the fetid odor of the blossoms of certain species
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for sterculia
I have since ascertained that the tree is called the Sterculia foetida.My First Voyage to Southern Seas
Nearly equally conspicuous are large numbers of Sterculia campanulata.In the Andamans and Nicobars
C. Boden Kloss
Sterculia, which at the time was particularly valuable to us, was rare.Journal of an Overland Expedition in Australia
The Callitris pyramidalis and the Sterculia heterophylla were among the trees.
The principal hill consisted of traprock, and was so naked that only one or two trees of the Sterculia heterophylla grew upon it.
- a dietary fibre used as a food stabilizer and denture adhesive. It is the dried gum tapped from the trunk and stems of the tree Sterculia urens, native to Central India and Pakistan
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012