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Useful Tropical Plants

Thespesia grandiflora

DC.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Hibiscus grandiflorus Juss. ex DC.

Maga grandiflora (DC.) Urb.

Montezuma grandiflora (DC.) Urb.

Montezuma speciosissima Moc. & Sessé ex DC.

Common Name:

Thespesia grandiflora
Close-up of the flower
Photograph by: Jardin Boricua
Creative Commons License
Thespesia grandiflora Thespesia grandiflora Thespesia grandiflora Thespesia grandiflora

General Information

Thespesia grandiflora is an evergreen tree with a rounded crown; it usually grows up to 15 metres tall, occasionally to 20 metres. The usually straight and cylindrical bole can be free of branches for 3 metres or more and up to 50cm in diameter when growing in forests; when grown in the open as an ornamental, however, it normallly branches from near the ground[
350
Title
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ntbg.org/plants/choose_a_plant.php
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
General information on almost 400 species, with descriptions, habitats and some uses.
].
The tree produces a valuable wood, somewhat similar in appearance and working quality to old growth mahogany. It is sometimes cultivated as a timber crop, and is often grown as an ornamental, being valued especially for its floral display[
350
Title
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ntbg.org/plants/choose_a_plant.php
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
General information on almost 400 species, with descriptions, habitats and some uses.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Caribbean - Puerto Rico.

Habitat

Forests in moist and wet areas, especially on limestone soils[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Tree
Height12.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Thespesia grandiflora is a plant of the warm tropics; it is found in areas with mean annual precipitations ranging from 1,250 - 2,500mm and a mean annual temperature from 20 - 27°c[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Succeeds in full sun and in dappled shade[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Grows well on soils ranging from mildly alkaline to strongly acid, with textures ranging from sandy loams to clays[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Natural trees grow best on colluvial lower slopes of limestone hills and
the alluvial bottoms between the hills[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Plants are reported to begin flowering at between 5 - 10 years of age. Flowering and fruiting proceeds throughout the year except when limited by periods of low rainfall and drought stress[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
This species is the national tree of Puerto Rico[
350
Title
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ntbg.org/plants/choose_a_plant.php
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
General information on almost 400 species, with descriptions, habitats and some uses.
].
This tree was formerly widely planted in Puerto Rico, both along roadsides and as a timber crop in the public forests. As it proved to be an alternate host of the pink bollworm (Pectinophora gossypiella), its planting was discontinued in the cotton region. Subsequently propagation of this species, other than for landscaping, has nearly terminated. Forest plantings were stopped when it was found that the trees, which at first grew straight and rapidly, later nearly ceased growth, became excessively branchy, and produced numerous cankerlike defects on the trunk. Trees in plantations on good soils in the moist limestone region averaged 88mm in diameter at an age of 9 years[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].
Another objection to extensive planting, even as an ornamental, is that the trees are very susceptible to a scale insect which deforms both trunk and branches and sometimes causes death[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The wood, which is durable and highly resistant to dry-wood termites, is used for making furniture, crafts, and musical instruments[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
,
350
Title
National Tropical Botanical Garden
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ntbg.org/plants/choose_a_plant.php
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
General information on almost 400 species, with descriptions, habitats and some uses.
].


The heartwood is rich chocolate brown, resembling old mahogany; the sapwood is light brown. The wood is rather hard, heavy, fine-textured, very durable, and very resistant to attack by dry-wood termites. A now scarce furniture wood, it is also used also occasionally for turnery, musical instruments, posts, and poles[
447
Title
Common Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands
Publication
 
Author
Little E.L.; Wadsworth F.H.
Publisher
USDA, Forest Service; Washington.
Year
1964
ISBN
 
Description
Contains detailed information, and usually an illustration, on 250 tree species, including both native and exotic species.
].

Propagation

Seed - it begins germinating 5 - 7 days after the fruit ripens and often whilst still in the fruit. Because seeds picked up from the ground may already have the radicle exposed, moist paper towels or other moistened material should be placed in the collection container during transport and the seeds should be sown as soon as possible. No pregermination treatments are necessary. Seeds may be sown in trays, seedbeds, or directly in the containers and lightly covered in ordinary potting mix. A germination rate of 70 - 80% can be expected from fresh seed, but this can drop to 20% after 2 weeks of storage. Seeds sown in germination trays or beds are transplanted to nursery bags or pots after the first true leaves emerge. The seedlings develop rapidly in partial shade, reaching 20cm in 3 months and 40cm in 6 months. The seedlings should be moved into full sun a few weeks before outplanting. Seedling stock from 15 - 50cm can be used to establish plantations[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
]. Trees destined to become ornamentals are often grown in pots until they attain 1 to 2.5 m in height, when they should be planted in deep, well-aerated, and fertile soil[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Viability of the seeds can be extended to almost 4 months by drying to 62.5% moisture and storing at 2 - 4 °c[
337
Title
Tropical Tree Seed Manual
Publication
 
Author
Vosso. J. Editor.
Website
http://www.rngr.net/Publications/ttsm
Publisher
USDA Forest Service.
Year
2002
ISBN
 
Description
An extremely good guide, it can also be downloaded in its entirety from the address shown above.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2024-04-17. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Thespesia+grandiflora>

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