Taxon: Thespesia populnea (L.) Sol. ex Corrêa

Genus: Thespesia
Family: Malvaceae
  Subfamily: Malvoideae
      Tribe: Gossypieae
Nomen number: 36526
Place of publication: Ann. Mus. Hist. Nat. 9:290. 1807
Name Verified on: 29-Nov-2007 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last Changed: 21-Feb-2017
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Miami (MIA)
Accessions: 10 in National Plant Germplasm System

Common names:

  • bendytree  (Source: Websters Dict) - English
  • corktree  (Source: Websters Dict) - English
  • Indian tuliptree  (Source: PROTA4U) - English
  • milo  (Source: Pl Res SEAs) - English
  • Pacific rosewood  (Source: Pl Res SEAs) - English
  • Polynesian rosewood  (Source: PROTA4U) - English
  • porlia-tree  (Source: Aust Pl Common Names) - English
  • portia-tree  (Source: Hortus 3) - English
  • seaside mahoe  (Source: Websters Dict) - English
  • Seychelles rosewood  (Source: PROTA4U) - English
  • tuliptree  (Source: Websters Dict) - English
  • umbrella-tree  (Source: PROTA4U) - English
  • arbre ombrelle  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • bois de rose d'Océanie  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • kalfata  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • motel debou  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • porché  (Source: PROTA4U) - French
  • Küsten-Tropeneibisch  (Source: Zander Ency) - German
  • bela-sombra  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese
  • pau-rosa  (Source: PROTA4U) - Portuguese
  • tespésia  (Source: pers. comm.) - Portuguese (Brazil)
  • mtakawa  (Source: PROTA4U) - Swahili
  • tong mian  (Source: F ChinaEng) - Transcribed Chinese

Economic Importance:

  • Environmental: erosion control (fide Pl Res SEAs 11:251-252. 1997)
  • Environmental: ornamental (fide Pl Res SEAs 11:251-252. 1997)
  • Environmental: shade/shelter (fide Pl Res SEAs 11:251-252. 1997)
  • Human food: vegetable (fide Pl Res SEAs 11:251-252. 1997)
  • Materials: fiber (for caulking & rope fide Pl Res SEAs 11:251-252. 1997)
  • Materials: tannin/dyestuff (obtained from flowers & fruits fide Plantation Trees)
  • Materials: wood (fide Pl Res SEAs 11:251-252. 1997)
  • Medicines: folklore (fide Pl Res SEAs 11:251-252. 1997)
  • Social: religious/secular (considered a sacred tree in some Pacific regions fide Pl Res SEAs 11:251. 1997)
  • Weed: (fide Invasive Pl Spec)

Distributional Range:


  • Africa

    • East Tropical Africa: Kenya; Tanzania
    • Northeast Tropical Africa: Eritrea; Somalia
    • South Tropical Africa: Mozambique
    • West Tropical Africa: Benin; Ghana; Nigeria; Senegal; Togo
    • Western Indian Ocean: Comoros; Madagascar; Mauritius; Reunion; Seychelles
  • Asia-Temperate

    • China: China - Guangdong, - Hainan
    • Eastern Asia: Japan - Ryukyu Islands; Taiwan
  • Asia-Tropical

    • Indian Subcontinent: India; Maldives; Sri Lanka
    • Indo-China: Cambodia; India - Andaman and Nicobar; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam
    • Malesia: Indonesia; Malaysia; Philippines
    • Papuasia: Papua New Guinea
  • Australasia

    • Australia: Australia - Queensland, - Western Australia, - Northern Territory
  • Northern America

    • Southern Mexico: Mexico - Quintana Roo, - Veracruz, - Yucatan
  • Pacific

    • Northwestern Pacific: Micronesia
    • South-Central Pacific: French Polynesia
    • Southwestern Pacific: Fiji; Vanuatu
  • Southern America

    • Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda; Bahamas; Barbados; Bermuda; Cayman Islands; Cuba; Dominica; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Hispaniola; Jamaica; Martinique; Montserrat; Netherlands Antilles; Puerto Rico; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; St. Vincent and Grenadines; Virgin Islands (British); Virgin Islands (U.S.)
    • Central America: Costa Rica; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama
    • Northern South America: Venezuela - Falcon
    • Western South America: Colombia

  • Cultivated:

    . widely cult. in tropics


  • Webster's third new international dictionary. 1961 (Websters Dict)
  • PROTABASE, the information base of PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa) (on-line resource). (PROTA4U)
  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. et al. Flora of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 78:1-581. 1996 (F St John)
  • Adams, C. Flowering plants of Jamaica. 1972 (F Jam)
  • Bosser, J. M. et al., eds. Flores des Mascareignes. 1976- (F Mascar)
  • Correll, D. S. & H. B. Correll Flora of the Bahama archipelago. 1982 (F Bahamas)
  • Dale, I. R. & P. J. Greenway Kenya trees & shrubs. 1961 (TreesS Kenya)
  • Dassanayake, M. D. & F. R. Fosberg, eds. A revised handbook to the flora of Ceylon. 1980- (F Ceylon)
  • Elevitch, C. R., ed. The traditional tree initiative: species profiles for Pacific Island agroforestry (on-line resource). (Trad Tree Init)
  • Encke, F. et al. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 13. Auflage. 1984 (Zander ed13)
  • Erhardt, W. et al. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen. 2008 (Zander Ency)
  • Exell, A. W. et al., eds. Flora zambesiaca. 1960- (F Zamb)
  • Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds. 1997. Auxiliary plants (Pl Res SEAs) 11:251-252.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource). (Ecocrop)
  • Fryxell, P. A. 1988. Malvaceae of Mexico Syst. Bot. Monogr. 25:441-443.
  • Fryxell, P. A. 1979. The natural history of the cotton tribe. 1979 (Nat Hist Cotton) 86.
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. (pers. comm.)
  • Hedberg, I. & S. Edwards Flora of Ethiopia. 1989- (and Eritrea. 2000) (F Ethiop)
  • Howard, R. Flora of the lesser Antilles. 1974-1989 (F LAnt)
  • Humbert, J.-H., ed. Flore de Madagascar et des Comores. 1936- (F Madag)
  • Huxley, A., ed. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening. 1992 (Dict Gard)
  • Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS) Australian plant common name database (on-line resource). (Aust Pl Common Names)
  • Iwatsuki, K. et al. Flora of Japan. 1993- (F Japan)
  • Jardín Botánico Nacional Flora de la República de Cuba. 1998- (F Cuba)
  • Keay, R. W. J. & F. N. Hepper Flora of west tropical Africa, ed. 2. 1953-1972 (F WT Afr)
  • Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Hortus third. 1976 (Hortus 3)
  • Liogier, H. A. Descriptive flora of Puerto Rico and adjacent islands. 1984- (F PuertoR)
  • Luna, R. K. Plantation trees. 1996 (Plantation Trees)
  • Matthew, K. M. The flora of the Tamilnadu Carnatic. 1983 (F TamilC)
  • Nasir, E. & S. I. Ali, eds. Flora of [West] Pakistan. 1970- (F Pak)
  • Núñez Meléndez, E. Plantas medicinales de Puerto Rico: Folklore y fundamentos científicos. 1982 (Pl Med PR)
  • Parrotta, J. A. Healing plants of peninsular India. 2001 (Healing Pl India)
  • Paul, T. K. & M. P. Nayar 1988. Malvaceae (Fasc F India) 19:225-226.
  • Proctor, G. R. Flora of the Cayman Islands. Kew Bulletin Additional Series XI. 1984 (F Cayman)
  • Sharma, B. D. et al., eds. Flora of India. 1993- (F India)
  • Stevens, W. D. et al., eds. Flora de Nicaragua. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 85(1-3). 2001 (F Nicaragua)
  • Thulin, M., ed. Flora of Somalia. 1993- (F Somalia)
  • Turrill, W. B. et al., eds. Flora of tropical East Africa. 1952- (F TE Afr)
  • Weber, E. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds. 2003 (Invasive Pl Spec)
  • Woodson, R. E. & R. W. Schery, eds. Flora of Panama. 1943-1980 (F Panama)
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. Flora of China (English edition). 1994- (F ChinaEng)


Check other web resources for Thespesia populnea (L.) Sol. ex Corrêa :

  • PLANTS: USDA-NRCS Database of Plants of the United States and its Territories
  • Flora of China: Online version from Harvard University
  • AVH: Australia's Virtual Herbarium
  • TROPICOS: Nomenclatural and Specimen Database of the Missouri Botanical Garden
  • Mansfeld: Mansfeld's World Databas of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops
  • ePIC: Electronic Plant Information Centre of Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
  • AGRICOLA: Article Citation Database or NAL Catalog of USDA's National Agricultural Library
  • Entrez: NCBI's search engine for PubMed citations, GenBank sequences, etc.


  • Seed: U.S. National Seed Herbarium image