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Thespesia populnea seed

The Seaside Mahoe is a small, evergreen tree in the hibiscus family that grows on beaches and in coastal forests in tropical regions around the world. It has a short, crooked or leaning trunk with thick, ridged bark and a broad, spreading, rounded canopy. Leaves are large, heart-shaped and on long stalks. They are light green or bright green, leathery and shiny. It has large, funnel-shaped flowers that are light yellow with a dark maroon center. The flowers become maroon later in the day. Fruits are oblate, leathery capsules that are on long stalks. The Seaside Mahoe is an attractive flowering tree that is grown in coastal regions for its attractive foliage and flowers and for its durability. Fruit and seed buoyant and adapted to long-distance dispersal by tides and ocean currents. Native of old World tropics; and now found in coastal regions throughout tropics and sub-tropics; naturalized in Florida and West Indies. Grown as a specimen ornamental, and in medians and parking lots; tough fibrous bark used for rope and caulk for boats; wood is oily and makes highly polished timber, but makes only small items since wood is often twisted and rarely found in large pieces; yellow dye obtained from fruit; medicinally, several plant parts used. Tahitians considered the tree sacred and grew it near places of worship.

Growing Instructions

  1. Soak the seeds in water for several hours.
  2. Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seed coat
  3. Put a mixture of potting soil and sand or perlite into a pot with drainage holes in the base. The soil should be moist and well-drained.
  4. Sow the seeds on the soil.
  5. Cover the seeds with a layer of soil that is 0.5 inches thick.
  6. Water the seeds. Keep the soil moist but not wet.
  7. When the plants are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.

Thespesia populnea is a fast growing tree, it can reach a height of 20 m but often remains more modest in size. Its trunk is short, the blackish bark is rough, it presents a voluminous crown of generally rounded shape. In some countries its wood named: rosewood, due to the smell of roses given off by fresh sawdust is used for fine cabinetry, tabletterie, marquetry and artisanal sculpture. The wood is light and tender, of a carmine red color, long veined with brown.

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