The name of this species has recently (2001) been changed from Hibiscus elatus, though this is not universally recognised as yet(2009)[
Hibiscus azanzae DC.
Hibiscus elatus Sw.
Hibiscus tiliaceus elatus (Sw.) Hochr.
Pariti grande Britton
Paritium azanzae (DC.) G. Don
Paritium elatum (Sw.) G.Don
Common Name: Blue Mahoe
Blue mahoe is a very attractive evergreen tree that can grow from 6 - 25 metres tall[
]. The straight, cylindrical bole is of fairly good length and usually 30 - 45cm in diameter, though it can be up to 90cm[
Blue mahoe is considered to be one of the most valuable woods of Jamaica and Cuba and has been heavily harvested in the past, seriously reducing the volume of merchantable timber. The tree is sometimes grown in plantations for its timber and is also often grown as an ornamental and as a street tree[
Caribbean - Cuba, Jamaica.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A tree of the lowland tropics. It is not well suited to areas with a mean annual rainfall less than 1,500mm[
Grows in the wild in a wide range of soils[
]. A very wind-resistant species, capable of withstanding hurricanes[
Trees can flower and produce fruit all year round[
An infusion of the mucilaginous leaves and young shoots is used in the treatment of dysentery[
The bark is clear in colour, rather soft in texture, and consists of many layers that can be separated after beating. The inner bark is used for making rope and cord, which is reported to be very durable in salt and brackish water[
]. The fibres of the bark of young trees make good ropes[
]. The lace-like inner bark was at one time known as Cuba bark from its being used as the material for tying round bundles of Havana cigars[
The heartwood is basically a greyish brown or olive, but is often richly variegated with streaks of purple, metallic blue, and olive, or separated by plain olive patches. The best forms have the appearance, when polished, of dark-green variegated marble[
]. The sapwood is narrow and nearly white. The grain is fairly straight; texture medium to somewhat coarse; surface lustrous; there is no distinctive odour or taste present in seasoned wood[
]. The wood is moderately heavy; very hard, but not so hard as rosewood (Amyris balsamifera); tough; durable to very durable[
]. It is very flexible, and is said to have all the characters of the best European ash, but to be more durable and longer in the fibre[
]. It works easily, but needs particular care to attain a good polish[
]. Wood of good colour is used in cabinet work, for furniture etc, it is much used locally for building purposes, for carriage and cart work and for railway sleepers, it also yields good shingles[
]. Use is also made of it for gun-stocks, carriage poles, ships' knees, and fishing rod[
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