Sterculia quinqueloba – Star Chestnut (plant)
Sterculia qinqueloba is a native to Southern Africa – Angola, DR Congo and Tanzania south to Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. A plant of the hotter and drier tropics, where it can be found at elevations up to 1,650 metres.
The tree is harvested from the wild for its gum, which can be used as a Gum Arabic substitute. The timber is often harvested commercially after more valuable trees have been removed. The wood is used locally and also as a fuel. The tree is sometimes grown as an ornamental and to provide shade (Info from Useful Tropical Plants).
Care and Cultivation of Sterculia quinqueloba
Sterculia quinqueloba is a drought tolerant, beautiful and hardy species suitable for most gardens. Likes a full sun position in a well drained soil. Deciduous in most areas. Can be kept as a succulent bonsai, it has a tuberous root which can be raised for effect.