Thespesia populnea

(syn. Hibiscus populneus, Thespesia macrophylla), milo (Hawaii, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga), portia tree, Pacific rosewood, seaside mahoe, Indian tulip tree, badrirt (Palau), banalo (Northern Marianas), bang-beng (Yap), kilulo (Guam), mio (Marquesas), miro, amae (Rarotonga, Society Islands), mulomulo (Fiji), panu (Kosrae), polo (Chuuk), pone (Pohnpei).

  • Family Malvaceae.
  • Native to Eastern Africa and southern Asia through Malaysia to eastern Polynesia, Marshall and Gilbert Islands in Micronesia.
  • Special areas in Hawaii: Keahua, Waimea Arboretum, Haleakala, Volcanoes.
  • Introduced to Hawaii by Polynesians or, possibly, native to Hawaii.
  • Wood used for craftwood, bowls, carved figures, boatbuilding and cabinetwork. Leaves and bark used medicinally in traditional cultures.
  • Weed Risk Assessment Score: 9 (HIGH RISK). However, the tree is a pre-Western introduction to Hawaii and indigenous to most other islands in the Pacific.
  • Profile of Thespesia populnea (Portia tree) with the Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands project [1 MB]

VIEW gallery on FLICKR


Thespesia populnea capsules, seed, and seedlings Thespesia populnea tree Thespesia populnea leaf and flower

If you require information in an alternative format, please contact us at: