Thespesia populnea

(Linnaeus) Solander ex Correa

Ann. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 9: 290. 1807

Common names: Cork-tree portia tree seaside mahoe Spanish cork majagua
Selected by author to be illustratedIntroduced
Basionyms: Hibiscus populneus Linnaeus Sp. Pl. 2: 694. 1753
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 6. Treatment on page 372.
Click plate for higher resolution version.
Illustrator: Linny Heagy
Trees 2–12 m. Stems lepidote to glabrate when young. Leaves: stipules 3–7 mm; petiole mostly 2/3–1 times length of blade; blade 6–13 cm, apex acute or acuminate, venation palmate, with nectariferous zone near base of midrib. Inflorescences: flowers large. Pedicels erect, stout, shorter than subtending petiole; involucellar bractlets irregularly inserted, ligulate. Flowers: calyx 8–10 mm, subglabrous, minutely lepidote; petals 4–6 cm, punctate; staminal column pallid, ca. 1/2 length of petals, apically 5-dentate, glabrous; style exceeding stamens; stigmas decurrent. Capsules (3–)5-locular, 3–3.5 cm diam.. Seeds 8–9 mm. 2n = 24, 26.

Phenology: Flowering year-round.
Habitat: Littoral vegetation
Elevation: 0 m


V6 691-distribution-map.jpg

Fla., Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands (New Guinea), Australia, introduced also in Mexico (Veracruz), West Indies, n South America.


Thespesia populnea is sometimes grown as a shade tree, and has been found in coastal Florida from Brevard and Sarasota counties south to Monroe County, most commonly on the Florida Keys. The species is thought to be native to coastal areas of the Indian and Pacific oceans and widely introduced and naturalized in the New World. The capsules float and have distributed the seeds widely. It has been used widely for food, lumber, fiber, and medicine.



Lower Taxa

No lower taxa listed.

Facts about "Thespesia populnea"
AuthorPaul A. Fryxell† + and Steven R. Hill +
Authority(Linnaeus) Solander ex Correa +
BasionymsHibiscus populneus +
Common nameCork-tree +, portia tree +, seaside mahoe +, Spanish cork + and majagua +
DistributionFla. +, Asia +, Africa +, Pacific Islands (New Guinea) +, Australia +, introduced also in Mexico (Veracruz) +, West Indies + and n South America. +
Elevation0 m +
HabitatLittoral vegetation +
IllustratorLinny Heagy +
Introducedtrue +
PhenologyFlowering year-round. +
Publication titleAnn. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. +
Publication year1807 +
ReferenceNone +
Source xml grained fna xml/V6/V6 691.xml +
Special statusSelected by author to be illustrated + and Introduced +
SynonymsMallow +
Taxon familyMalvaceae +
Taxon nameThespesia populnea +
Taxon parentThespesia +
Taxon rankspecies +
VolumeVolume 6 +