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Useful Tropical Plants

Malvaviscus arboreus

Cav.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Achania ciliata Spreng.

Achania coccinea Salisb.

Achania malvaviscus (L.) Sw.

Achania mollis Aiton

Achania pilosa Sw.

Hibiscus coccineus Walter

Hibiscus malvaviscus L.

Hibiscus nutans Sessé & Moc.

Hibiscus pilosus (Sw.) Fawc. & Rendle

Malvaviscus acapulcensis Kunth

Malvaviscus balbisii DC.

Malvaviscus brevibracteatus Baker f.

Malvaviscus brevipes Benth.

Malvaviscus ciliatus DC.

Malvaviscus conzattii Greenm.

Malvaviscus grandiflorus Kunth

Malvaviscus jordan-mottii Millsp.

Malvaviscus mollis (Aiton) DC.

Malvaviscus oligotrichus Turcz.

Malvaviscus pentacarpus Moc. & Sessé ex DC.

Malvaviscus pilosus (Sw.) DC.

Malvaviscus pulvinatus A.Rich.

Malvaviscus rivularis Brandegee

Malvaviscus sagranus A.Rich.

Malvaviscus sepium Schltdl.

Pavonia spiralis Cav.

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Malvaviscus arboreus is a deciduous shrub or a small tree that usually grows 1 - 5 metres tall, occasionally reaching 10 metres. It is usually about as wide as it is tall. The plant often produces suckers and also spreads by self-layering, it can form dense thickets[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine, food and source of materials. Grown as an ornamental in gardens, it is a rather handsome plant when in full flower because of its showy, bright red corollas, but the flowers usually are not produced in great abundance.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
,
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/

Range

Northern S. America - northern Colombia, through Central America to central Mexico; Caribbean - Trinidad, Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Cuba, Bahamas

Habitat

Wet to dry thickets or forest, often in roadside hedges or in waste ground; at elevations up to 2,500 metres[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height3.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsHummingbirds
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Malvaviscus arboreus is found from the subtropical to the tropical zones of central America and Mexico, where it can grow at elevations up to 2,500 metres. It is not very cold-hardy, tolerating occasional light frosts with temperatures falling to around -1°c. It prefers a climate with a mean annual temperatutre within the range 12 - 25°c, and a mean annual rainfall of 1,000 - 3,500mm[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Grows and flowers best in full sun, preferring a well-drained, sandy soil[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. Plants also grow well in partial shade, but flowering is reduced[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
Malvaviscus arboreus is a widely grown garden ornamental, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions. A fast-growing shrub, with the potential to grow forming dense patches, it has escaped from cultivation and become naturalized outside its native range principally in open, disturbed areas. It is now quite widespread and is becoming common in coastal areas, old gardens, roadsides, waste grounds and secondary forests[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
]. It is considered to be invasive in New Zealand[
305
Title
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.hear.org/pier/scientificnames/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A very good website detailing weed species that have been introduced into the Pacific Islands.
].
The plant can flower and produce fruit all year round in tropical areas[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
493
Title
Flora of Yucatan
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Field Museum of Natural History; Chicago
Year
1930
ISBN
 
Description
The first flora that was attempted for this area in 1930, so it is obviously lacking information and the Botanical names can be out of date. Still, an excellent work and it records many plant uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. Juicy and somewhat mucilaginous, they are often eaten by children but adults find them mawkish in flavour and not very appetizing[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

Medicinal

A liniment made from the base of the plant is used for dressing burns[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The flowers and leaves are emollient[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of bronchitis, fevers, inflammation of the digestive tract, and in popular practice as an emmenagogue[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].
A decoction of the flowers is used as a gargle to treat sore throats[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

A decoction of the leaves is used for the treatment of cystitis, diarrhoea, gastritis, and sore throat[
1093
Title
Invasive Species Compendium
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.cabi.org
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An immense resource - in depth information on over 900 species of invasive plants (it also has information on animals, fungi etc).
].

Other Uses

A decoction or infusion of the leaves is applied to the hair in order to make it soft and lustrous[
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
].

The bark contains a tough fibre[
411
Title
Trees and Shrubs of Mexico
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 23
Author
Standley P.C.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution; Washington
Year
1926
ISBN
 
Description
Although dated, it contains a wealth of information on the trees and shrubs of Mexico, including many of their uses. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed -
Cuttings generally rot well.
Layering
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-05-30. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Malvaviscus+arboreus>

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