TROPICAL PLANT ENCYCLOPEDIA


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Thespesia populnea, Hibiscus populneus, Seaside Mahoe, Portia Tree, Milo

Thespesia populnea, Hibiscus populneus

Seaside Mahoe, Portia Tree, Milo
Family: Malvaceae
Origin: India
Big tree taller than 20 ftFull sunRegular waterRed, crimson, vinous flowersYellow, orange flowersAttracts butterflies, hummingbirdsSeaside, salt tolerant plant

Known as Milo in Hawaii, the Thespesia populnea (Seaside Mahoe) is often planted in front of Buddhist Temples. Originally from the Old World, this fast-growing species was brought to Hawaii by early Polynesian settlers and was considered sacred. It is a hardy shrub that grows into a small tree with dark-red wood, spreading branches and an attractive grain. The fruits, flowers, young leaves and timber are all edible, with the latter famously used to create wooden food bowls and utensils, and it has a range of traditional medicinal uses.

Tannin, oil and a dark red resin exude from its bark and its showy red, crimson, vinous and yellow-orange flowers attract butterflies and hummingbirds. This tree is an excellent feature in gardens because of its resistance to salt and termite damage, as well as its ability to cast welcome shade. It is well suited to seaside locations and can be successfully grown in USDA Zones 9-11.

Plant Thespesia populnea in full sun and a location where it can receive regular water in well-drained soil. Fertilize it twice a month with a balanced fertilizer for optimum results and insure it is adequately protected in colder climates. Make sure the pot has ample drainage and lightweight soil mix and that a frost-resistant insulation barrier is used.


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Link to this plant:
https://toptropicals.com/catalog/uid/thespesia_populnea.htm

Thespesia populnea - Milo Portia

Thespesia populnea. Known as Milo in Hawaii, this tree is often planted in front of Buddhist Temples. Originally from the Old World, the Portia Tree was brought to Hawaii by early Polynesian settlers. The Tahitians considered it sacred and grew it near places of worship. The fruits, flowers and young leaves are edible. Has many traditional medicinal uses. The timber is hard, termite-resistant, has an attractive grain and dark-red color, and is naturally oily so it can be highly polished. As the timber does not impart a flavor, it is often used to carve wooden food bowls and food utensils in Hawaii. A fast growing shrub that grows into a small tree with spreading branches, it casts welcome shade and in Hawaii were planted near homes for this purpose. In India, they were planted to provide shade in coffee and tea plantations.

RECOMMENDED FERTILIZER:
SUNSHINE Megaflor - Bloom Nutrition Booster
This item is certified for shipping to California.
Grown in
10"/3 gal pot