plant ID help

Una Smith una.smith at YALE.EDU
Fri Mar 24 18:45:00 CST 2000

On Tue, 14 Mar 2000, Eddy Dawson wrote:

>I am looking for keys, descriptions, or anything that may help me with
>the identification of this plant. It might be in the Sterculiaceae
>family and is 40 ft tall, leaves 9-10 cm long. It was collected in
>Southern Arizona. The following leaf image is all I have to go on:

So far, no one has replied to Eddy, so here goes...

If you really only have an image of the leaf, perhaps you should post
your query to the Usenet newsgroup, where someone might
recognize the leaf.  In your e-mail description and the image, I found
states for 11 characters in the Angiosperm Families database published
on the Internet (
These are sufficient to exclude your tree from all but the following
families of angiosperms:

Aceraceae Juss.
Alangiaceae DC.
Altingiaceae Lindl.
Androstachydaceae Airy Shaw
Araliaceae Juss.
Atherospermataceae R. Br.
Bignoniaceae Juss.
Bombacaceae Kunth
Compositae Giseke
Cunoniaceae R. Br.
Dilleniaceae Salisb.
Griseliniaceae J.R. Forst. & G. Forst. ex A. Cunn.
Gyrocarpaceae Dum.
Hamamelidaceae R. Br.
Hernandiaceae Blume
Lacistemataceae Mart.
Leguminosae-Caesalpinioideae Kunth
Leguminosae-Papilionoideae DC.
Loasaceae Spreng.
Magnoliaceae Juss.
Malvaceae Juss.
Menispermaceae Juss.
Moraceae Link
Passifloraceae Juss.
Polemoniaceae Juss.
Proteaceae Juss.
Rosaceae L.
Scrophulariaceae Juss.
Sterculiaceae Vent.
Tiliaceae Juss.
Toricelliaceae (Wang.) Hu corr. Airy Shaw
Umbelliferae Juss.
Urticaceae Juss.

Note that some of these families (the exotic ones) are not eliminated
primarily because their descriptions in the database are incomplete,
reflecting incomplete descriptions in the botanical survey literature.
My search, including looking at your image and selecting characters,
took about 5 minutes.

If you have the leaf shown in the image, not just the image, I am sure
you could do better than this.

        Una Smith               una.smith at

        Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
        Yale University
        New Haven, CT  06520-8106

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