Scientific Name :
Thespesia populnea (L.) Soland. ex Correa
Hibiscus populneus L.
Local/Common name(s) :
Poovarasu, Seelanthi, Portia tree
Flowering/Fruiting Time :
Grown as fence-posts and avenue tree, also in mangrove forests
Status (IUCN) :
Least concern (LC)
Description (Morphology) :
Trees, to 15 m high, bark dark brown; blaze yellowish-pink; branchlets densely covered with minute scales, glabrescent. Leaves simple, alternate, stipulate; stipules 4-10 mm long, free, lateral, linear to lanceolate, cauducous; petiole 5-10 cm, slender, swollen tipped, scaly; lamina 5-12.7 x 5.5-15 cm, orbicular or ovate, base cordate or truncate, apex acute or acuminate, margin entire or dentate, coriaceous, with peltate scales above, glabrescent or stellate-tomentose beneath; 5-7 nerved from the base, palmate, prominent, lateral nerves 4-5 pairs, pinnate, prominent, intercostae subscalariform, prominent, often a glandular pore in one or more of the intercostal spaces beneath. Flowers bisexual, yellow, showy, solitary or in cymes, axillary or terminal; pedicels 20-50 mm long, jointed near the base, glabrescent; involucellar bracts 3-5 or 0, 5-15 x 2-3 mm, oblong-lanceolate, acute, subcoriaceous, densely scaly, cauducous; calyx cupular, minutely 5 toothed or 5-parted, accrescent and flattened in fruit, scaly outside, densely serious inside; corolla light yellow with dark purple centre, fading to purplish-pink, broadly campanulate; petals 5, 5-7.5 x 4-6 cm, obliquely obovate, narrowed and fleshy at base, rounded at apex, densely scaly outside, glabrous inside, ciliate at base, twisted; staminal tube 15-25 mm long, 5-toothed at apex; filaments ascending; anthers reniform; ovary superior, globose to ovoid, 5-celled, ovules 2-3 in each cell; style ca. 3 cm long; stigma club shaped, 5-furrowed. Fruit a capsule, globose, indehiscent, depressed, scaly, ultimately glabrescent; seeds many, ovoid, channelled along the back, pubescent.