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Coastal Plants of Florida: Thespesia populnea: Seaside Mahoe, Portia Tree IFAS fact sheet
FLEPPC pdf fact sheet

Thespesia populneafrom Plants Daily Post

8/18/2008 Coastal Plants of Florida

Thespesia populnea Seaside Mahoe or Portia Tree

As of 1999, Seaside Mahoe, a pantropically naturalized member of the hibiscus family found growing in coastal areas of South Florida, the Keys and the West Indies, has earned its status of Category I pest from the FLEPPC. Such plants tend to thrive at the expense of natives, as do other early introductions by indiscriminate promoters of the Florida Land Boom, which continue to haunt us now. Thought by these early ones to be an ornamental plant, the Portia Tree now forms thickets interfering with turtle nesting and has been observed sneaking into mangrove areas and more highly ornamental coastal landscaping.

But for viewing purposes only, Thespesia populnea still remains an excellent representative of its family, the Malvaceae, and a prime example of a plant with ovate-cordate leaves.

August Images:

Thespesia populnea

8/17/2008 Thespesia populnea: Seaside Mahoe or Portia Tree

Seaside Hibiscus


Daily Post text and photos by Leigh Fulghum


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