Today’s BPotD entry is number 250, so I thought I’d share a plant in the same family as the first entry (Melliodendron xylocarpum), the Styracaceae.
Rehderodendron macrocarpum is native to southeast China and Vietnam (Flora of China entry | illustration). The genus name commemorates the German-born taxonomist Alfred Rehder, a former curator of the herbarium at the Arnold Arboretum.
The pictured fruit takes over six months to mature. This is perhaps not surprising, considering this 9cm long woody-shelled fruit develops from dainty 2cm long flowers. Despite blooming profusely with thousands of flowers, only a few of the flowers develop into fruit at UBC Botanical Garden–maybe a dozen to two dozen each year.
This was one of the favourite plants of the late Dr. Gerald Straley, former Curator of Collections at UBC Botanical Garden in the latter parts of the twentieth-century.