Monday, March 30, 2009

Talipariti tiliaceum

Talipariti tiliaceum | Mahoe, Beach Hibiscus, Sea Hibiscus, Coastal Cottonwood, Algodoeiro da Praia, Linden Hibiscus, 黄槿 Huang Jin

Talipariti tiliaceum is found on the shores of the Pacific and Indian oceans and is cultivated or naturalised throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is grown mainly as an ornamental tree for landscaping, although its wood, bark and flowers have been used for various purposes. It is known by several common names, including 'Cotton-tree' or 'Cottonwood' (Australia), 'Purau' (Tahiti), 'Vau' (Fiji), 'Hau' (Hawaii) and 'Mahoe'. Still widely known as Hibiscus tiliaceus, this species will eventually be known as Talipariti tiliaceum. A group of 22 closely related species in the genus Hibiscus (including Hibiscus tiliaceus), were reclassified by Malvaceae taxonomist Paul A. Fryxell into the new genus Talipariti.

Talipariti tiliaceum can attain a height of up to 8-10 m (26'-32') and can grow as wide if not pruned. In its natural range it can be found near watercourses, mangrove swamps and estuaries, frequently forming impenetrable thickets and covering very large areas along coastlines. It can withstands brackish water and is tolerant of salt spray, therefore it is an excellent species for coastal areas. The trees are very ornamental, with large heart-shaped leaves and dense foliage.

Historical Reference: But of all Australian species of Hibiscus, H. tiliaceus of the Richmond River, near the coast, and coastal Queensland, has received most attention as a fibre plant. It is found in most tropical countries. The fibre was used by the aborigines for nets and fishing- lines. Some fibre produced in this Colony was pronounced by the jurors of the London International Exhibition of 1862 to be only fit for paper-making. It must have been crudely prepared, as the tree produces a good fibre in many parts of the world. Three or four years ago the Department of Agriculture of Queensland sent to London some fibre from the Daintree River, for report. The fibre "was roughly prepared by boiling in soda-lye, and rubbing with an old sack." The report was, " Good colour, moderately soft, but of no great strength, and fit only for jute purposes. It would, however, probably sell in large quantities, and we estimate the value to-day at £12 to £14 per ton in London.

   The Agricultural Gazette of New South Wales
   By New South Wales
   Vol. V. Part 1. January, 1894