Thespesia Populnea


Thespesia populnea, commonly known as the Portia Tree (pronounced /ˈpɔərʃⁱə/), is species of flowering plant in the mallow family, Malvaceae. It is a small tree or arborescent shrub that has a pantropical distribution, found on coasts around the world. However, the Portia Tree is probably native only to the Old World,[2] and may have originated in India.[3] It is possibly indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands and elsewhere in the Pacific, but may have been spread by early Polynesians for its useful wood and bast fibres. The Portia Tree reaches a height of 6–10 m (20–33 ft) tall and a trunk diameter of 20–30 cm (7.9–12 in).[4] It grows at elevations from sea level to 275 m (902 ft)[5] in areas that receive 500–1,600 mm (20–63 in) of annual rainfall.[2] The Portia Tree is able to grow in the wide range of soil types that may be present in coastal environments, including soils derived from quartz (sand), limestone, and basalt; it favors neutral soils (pH of 6-7.4).[4]

Common names vary according to the country and include Indian Tulip Tree, Pacific Rosewood, Seaside Mahoe (in Florida), Surina (the "elegant tree"), Suriya (Sinhala), Bebaru or Baru baru (Malay), Milo or Miro (in many Polynesian languages), Makoʻi (Rapanui), Gangaraavi (Telugu), Poovarasu (Tamil), PakuR (Bengali) and Plaksa (Sanskrit).


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