Encountering a flowering Sterculia alexandri in its habitat in the southernmost forested area of South Africa is an exhiliration experience. Flower and bulging bud are shown here, as well as some translucent net-veining upon the damaged leaves.
What appears like petals are sepals in this species, coloured like flowers on both surfaces. Sterculia flowers have no petals. Note the curious deviation of six sepal lobes in this flower, not five as they normally are (Coates Palgrave, 2002; Gledhill, 1981).