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Frost burned curling Mahoe leaf... degeneration in abstract | by jungle mama
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Frost burned curling Mahoe leaf... degeneration in abstract

The cold has burnt the Mahoe leaves and they are in various stages of browning and curling. Their glorious patterns are glistening in the morning sunlight and my lens and I are fascinated by what we're seeing and able to share with you! The vein patterns and colors. The browning areas and their black outlines. Their drying and curling surfaces! Beauty even in degeneration!


Seaside Mahoe or Thespesia populnea is a delightful coastal tree. It has tissuey, Hibiscus-like flowers which open as yellow and turn to pink and ruby red as they mature. Next the petals fall and the center of the sepal cup transforms into a burgeoning apple-shaped fruit. Its heart-shaped leaves are a delightful bright green.


One of its common names,Thespesia, means "divinely decreed" and was given by Daniel Solander who saw it in Tahiti as a member of Captain Cook's ship. Indian tulip tree is an evergreen bushy tree. It grows to 40 ft or more with a spread of 10–20 ft. It has heart-shaped leaves and cup-shaped yellow flowers that are produced intermittently throughout the year in warm climates. Each flower has a maroon eye that ages to purple. The flowers are followed by apple-shaped fruit.


Medicinal uses: Ground up bark is used to treat skin diseases (India), dysentery and hemorrhoids (Mauritius) Leaves are applied to inflamed and swollen joints (South India), When cut, the young fruit secretes a yellow sticky sap used to treat ringworm and other skin diseases, (South India) Roots are used as a tonic. There is some modern investigation of the plant's effects on high blood pressure.


Indian tulip tree, Aden apple, Portia tree • Hindi: Paras pipal पारस पीपल • Malayalam: Puvarasu • Bengali: Palaspipal • Tamil: பூவரசு Puvarasu

Botanical name: Thespesia populnea, Malvaceae (Mallow family)


Arch Creek East Environmental Preserve, North Miami, FL.

See my sets, Woods, weeds and streams.

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Taken on January 21, 2012