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Malvaceae, Chiranthodendron pentadactylon, Devil’s hand

March 4, 2013

The Genus Chiranthrodendron comprises a single species, C. pentadactylon. Common names include Arbol de las Manitas (Spanish), and mācpalxōchitl (palm flower) in Nahuatl.

The tree is native to Guatemala and S. Mexico, growing to 10.5–27.5 m (35–90 feet) in height.

From what limited ethnobotanical information I could find: solutions containing the tree’s flowers are used as remedy for lower abdominal pain and to treat heart ailments. Similar solutions are used to reduce edema and serum cholesterol levels and are used as diuretics.

When I took the photos below, of leaf, and fruit/seedpod the tree was not in flower. Refer to these images: photos of the flower for photos of the flower, which are quite spectacular.

Chiranthodendron pentadactylon is related to a wide variety of interesting plant species. Click the following links for previous posts related to these botanical families. The once separate Malvaceae, Bombacaceae, and Sterculiaceae familiesare now considered one, grouped under Malvaceae. I have yet to update my species index accordingly.

I collected seed to propagate.

Click individual photos below to enlarge.

chiranthodendron pentadactylon, leaf

Seedpod, below. chiranthodendron pentadactylon, seed

Another perspective of seedpod, below.

chiranthodendron pentadactylon, seed

And photos of the seed below. I will update on the process of seed propagation.

Chiranthrodendron, seed

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 5, 2013 10:08:40 am

    A wonderful tree! Attempts to grow it here have not been successful, but I know it does well in L.A.

  2. March 5, 2013 10:08:01 am

    Beautiful and exotic. I hope you get to grow some 🙂

    • March 5, 2013 10:08:07 pm

      I extracted some very small black seeds from the virtually in-destructable seedpod. I I’ll get them germinating today. Will let you know how it goes.

      • March 5, 2013 10:08:04 pm

        That seedpod looked amazing (as did the flowers) and I can’t wait to see if you manage to get some germinating. It would make an interesting post 🙂


  1. Propagating Chiranthrodendron pentadactylon – Berkeley, CA | anthropogen

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