The capsules are somewhat
spherical, topped by the persistent sepals. The flowers open at about 9
am and close at 4 pm. The bark fibre is used for string or ropes for making
fishing nets or caulking boats. On beaches and mangroves and frequently
planted in beach parks. Differs from the Portia tree
in that the sepals form a pointed tipped cup (vs. smooth-edged), the papery,
hairy-below, broader, above matte dark green and toothed leaf blades (vs.
slightly fleshy, hairless, narrower, above shiny green and smooth-edged
leaf blades) and deep crimson purple stigmas (vs. yellow).
tropics as a cultivated or wild species. Locally, it is found at most
sites. A spreading, many-branched tree to 15 m tall. Leaves are spirally
arranged, and the blades are heart-shaped with a pointed tip and slightly
toothed, dark green above and whitish and short-hairy below.
Trees of Hibiscus tiliceus (left)
and Thespesia populnea
Side (left) and top views
of splitting capsules
The few-flowered inflorescences are found at the branch tips or leaf
angles. Petals are bright yellow fading to a dull orange, with a maroon
eye. The filaments of the stamens are joined together into a light
yellow tube and the stigmas are a deep crimson purple.