Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Datasheet

Hibiscus tiliaceus
(coast cottonwood)

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Datasheet

Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood)

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 27 September 2018
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Invasive Species
  • Host Plant
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • Hibiscus tiliaceus
  • Preferred Common Name
  • coast cottonwood
  • Taxonomic Tree
  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •   Kingdom: Plantae
  •     Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •       Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •         Class: Dicotyledonae
  • Summary of Invasiveness
  • H. tiliaceus is a tree often associated with mangrove vegetation, native to coastal areas from East Africa to the central Pacific. It has been reported as an invasive species in Florida and some Caribbean islan...

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Pictures

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PictureTitleCaptionCopyright
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); mature tree habit. Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March, 2001.
TitleHabit
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); mature tree habit. Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March, 2001.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); mature tree habit. Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March, 2001.
HabitHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); mature tree habit. Kihei, Maui, Hawaii, USA. March, 2001.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Kaohikaipu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February, 2005.
TitleHabit
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Kaohikaipu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February, 2005.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Kaohikaipu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February, 2005.
HabitHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Kaohikaipu, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. February, 2005.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Large patch nr roadside. Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2009.
TitleHabit
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Large patch nr roadside. Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Large patch nr roadside. Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2009.
HabitHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Large patch nr roadside. Haiku, Maui, Hawaii, USA. June, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); leaves. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 08, 2008
TitleLeaves
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); leaves. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 08, 2008
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); leaves. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 08, 2008
LeavesHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); leaves. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. June 08, 2008©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); leaves, some showing 'cupping'. Bart Hill Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. March, 2015.
TitleLeaves
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); leaves, some showing 'cupping'. Bart Hill Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. March, 2015.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); leaves, some showing 'cupping'. Bart Hill Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. March, 2015.
LeavesHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); leaves, some showing 'cupping'. Bart Hill Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. March, 2015.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); yellow flower and foliage. John Prince Park Lake Worth, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
TitleFlower
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); yellow flower and foliage. John Prince Park Lake Worth, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); yellow flower and foliage. John Prince Park Lake Worth, Florida, USA. September, 2009.
FlowerHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); yellow flower and foliage. John Prince Park Lake Worth, Florida, USA. September, 2009.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); orange flower and foliage. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
TitleFlower
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); orange flower and foliage. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); orange flower and foliage. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.
FlowerHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); orange flower and foliage. Wahinepee, Maui, Hawaii, USA. August, 2002.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); flowering habit, with flowers and seedpods. Kanapou, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. December, 2010.
TitleHabit
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); flowering habit, with flowers and seedpods. Kanapou, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. December, 2010.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); flowering habit, with flowers and seedpods. Kanapou, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. December, 2010.
HabitHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); flowering habit, with flowers and seedpods. Kanapou, Kahoolawe, Hawaii, USA. December, 2010.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); foliage and seedpods. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September, 2014.
TitleSeedpods
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); foliage and seedpods. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September, 2014.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); foliage and seedpods. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September, 2014.
SeedpodsHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); foliage and seedpods. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September, 2014.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); close view of seedpods. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. October, 2005.
TitleSeedpods
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); close view of seedpods. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. October, 2005.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); close view of seedpods. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. October, 2005.
SeedpodsHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); close view of seedpods. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. October, 2005.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Dense thicket. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September, 2014.
TitleHabit
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Dense thicket. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September, 2014.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Dense thicket. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September, 2014.
HabitHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Dense thicket. Wailua, Maui, Hawaii, USA. September, 2014.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Dense thicket and understory. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April, 2015.
TitleHabit
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Dense thicket and understory. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April, 2015.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Dense thicket and understory. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April, 2015.
HabitHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); habit. Dense thicket and understory. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April, 2015.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); invasive habit. Forest Starr and Laysan albatross chicks. Bart Hill Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. March, 2015.
TitleInvasive habit
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); invasive habit. Forest Starr and Laysan albatross chicks. Bart Hill Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. March, 2015.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); invasive habit. Forest Starr and Laysan albatross chicks. Bart Hill Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. March, 2015.
Invasive habitHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); invasive habit. Forest Starr and Laysan albatross chicks. Bart Hill Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. March, 2015.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); chlorotic leaves and Laysan Albatross chick. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April, 2015.
TitleChlorotic leaves
CaptionHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); chlorotic leaves and Laysan Albatross chick. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April, 2015.
Copyright©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0
Hibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); chlorotic leaves and Laysan Albatross chick. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April, 2015.
Chlorotic leavesHibiscus tiliaceus (coast cottonwood); chlorotic leaves and Laysan Albatross chick. West Beach Sand Island, Midway Atoll, Hawaii, USA. April, 2015.©Forest Starr & Kim Starr - CC BY 4.0

Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • Hibiscus tiliaceus L.

Preferred Common Name

  • coast cottonwood

Other Scientific Names

  • Hibiscus boninensis
  • Hibiscus celebicus Koord.
  • Hibiscus circinnatus Willd.
  • Hibiscus hastatus L. f.
  • Hibiscus porophyllus Vell.
  • Hibiscus similis Blume
  • Hibiscus tiliifolius Salisb.
  • Hibiscus tortuosus Roxb.
  • Pariti boninense (Nakai) Nakai
  • Pariti tiliaceum (L.) A. Juss.
  • Pariti tiliaceum (L.) A. St.-Hil.
  • Pariti tiliaceum var. heterophyllum (Nakai) Nakai
  • Paritium abutiloides (Willd.) G. Don
  • Paritium circinnatum (Willd.) G. Don
  • Paritium elatum var. abutiloides (Willd.) Griseb.
  • Paritium tiliaceum (L.) A. Juss.

International Common Names

  • English: beach hibiscus; coast hibiscus; cottonwood hibiscus; green cottonwood; lime-tree-leaved hibiscus; linden hibiscus; mahoe; Norfolk hibiscus; sea hibiscus; sea rosemallow; yellow mallow tree
  • Spanish: majaguito de playa
  • French: hibiscus tilléiforme; mahot blanc

Local Common Names

  • : milolo; mkunga; mkungu; mtakawa; mwitu; umlolwa; wazimu
  • Australia: malwan; mapandhurr; native hibiscus; native rosella; yal
  • Brazil: algonodero-de-playa
  • Cook Islands: 'au
  • Cuba: majagua
  • Dominican Republic: majagua de Cuba
  • Fiji: vau; vau ndamu; vau ndamundamu; vau ndina; vauleka; vaundra
  • French Polynesia: purau
  • Guam: pago
  • Haiti: coton mahaut; grand mahaut; maho fran
  • India: attuparathi; bala; banish; belapata; bellipata; bhoia; birparutti; bola; chelwa; etagogu; kattupoovarasu; nirparathi; nirparuthi; olapparuthi; pooparuthi; safed chilka; velipparuthi
  • Indonesia: babaru; baru; waru
  • Jamaica: seaside mahaut
  • Kiribati: te kiaiai; te rau
  • Laos: hou sua; ta sua
  • Madagascar: afopotry
  • Malaysia: baru; baru laut; baru-baru; bebaru bulu
  • Myanmar: thinban
  • New Caledonia: vo; vole
  • Niue: fou
  • Philippines: bago; balabago; balibago; bauan; danglin; dangliu; ganglog; hanót; labágn; laógo; malabágo; malabágu; malabugo; malibágo; marakápas; mulabágo; ragindi
  • Puerto Rico: emajagua
  • Samoa: fau
  • Seychelles: mahoe; varre
  • Solomon Islands: ayiwo; fa'alo; fakasu; fa'ola; kwara'ae
  • Sri Lanka: beli-patta
  • Thailand: hau tree; khamin nang matse; pho thale; po faai; po na; po thale; tree mallo
  • Tonga: fau
  • Tuvalu: fau; fautu'u
  • USA/Hawaii: hau
  • Vanuatu: burao
  • Vietnam: d[aa]m b[uj]t ph[uf] dung

EPPO code

  • HIBTI (Hibiscus tiliaceus)

Subspecies

  • Hibiscus tiliaceus subsp. celebicus
  • Hibiscus tiliaceus subsp. crestaensis
  • Hibiscus tiliaceus subsp. elatus
  • Hibiscus tiliaceus subsp. genuinus
  • Hibiscus tiliaceus subsp. hastatus
  • Hibiscus tiliaceus subsp. similis
  • Hibiscus tiliaceus subsp. tiliaceus

Trade name

  • coast cottonwood
  • Cuban bast

Summary of Invasiveness

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H. tiliaceus is a tree often associated with mangrove vegetation, native to coastal areas from East Africa to the central Pacific. It has been reported as an invasive species in Florida and some Caribbean islands. However, the species present and invasive in these places may actually be the American native Talipariti tiliaceum var. pernambucense. Both these and other closely-related taxa are pioneer species and have been observed as spreading in parts of their respective native ranges, where their extensive root system can become a problem to cultivation, and they may act as hosts for insect vectors of coconut diseases. It is reported that H. tiliaceus can be relatively easily controlled by hand-pulling and herbicides, but the many intertwining stems and the coastal environments where it is often found make control problematic.

Taxonomic Tree

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  • Domain: Eukaryota
  •     Kingdom: Plantae
  •         Phylum: Spermatophyta
  •             Subphylum: Angiospermae
  •                 Class: Dicotyledonae
  •                     Order: Malvales
  •                         Family: Malvaceae
  •                             Genus: Hibiscus
  •                                 Species: Hibiscus tiliaceus

Notes on Taxonomy and Nomenclature

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Hibiscus is a large pantropical genus in the Malvaceae family, and includes some 200 species mainly in tropical and subtropical regions. It is a highly variable genus with relatively few common characteristics (Allen, 2002), and is widely cultivated for its beautiful flowers, commonly used in landscaping (Fryxell, 1988).

The taxonomy and the history of changing synonymy are rather confusing, which is reflected in the literature to this day. It is not within the scope of this datasheet to clarify the situation, especially regarding the confusing group of binomials Hibiscus tiliaceus, Talipariti tiliaceus, Hibiscus pernambucensis and Hibiscus hastatus, or any of these as varietal epithets. However, the following text attempts to explain the background, and offers information on which to base judgments on the identity of taxa at any locality. Further research is clearly required.

Many authorities, such as Allen (2002), USDA-ARS (2016) and the Missouri Botanical Garden (2016), give H. tiliaceus a pantropical distribution, but this is rejected here. Former and some current specific limits to the species also include a closely related taxon known variously as H. pernambucensis or with pernambucensis included as a varietal or subspecific epithet. The taxon with the epithet pernambucensis is taken here as a New World taxon found on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts of tropical America, whereas H. tiliaceussensu lato is restricted to the Old World and found in and around the Indian Ocean and western and central Pacific islands.

H. tiliaceus is in section Azanza, with the following morphological characteristics in relation to other species of the genus: arborescent habit, large-ovate to elliptic leaves, large and oblong stipules, calyx lobate with nectaries on the veins, capsule bearing not only five true septa but also five false septa; and the largest chromosome number (c. 100) in the genus (Fryxell, 2001). Section Azanza was raised by Fryxell (2001) to genus level under the new name Talipariti to include 22 taxa from South-East Asia to Central and South America, with one species occurring in Korea, Japan and coastal Australia.

Previously described as separate species of the genus Hibiscus, Talipariti tiliaceum var. tiliaceum and T. tiliaceum var. pernambucense were established by Fryxell (2001). Bovini (2010) suggested raising them to species level, but this is not widely accepted. However, their similarity is noted and the literature in which taxonomic revisions have been discussed is detailed, including studies on the anatomy of stem, leaves and pollen grains and the phylogeography and genetics of both populations. All these studies, including that of Takayama et al. (2008), showed significant differences between the two taxa, suggesting that they should be considered as very distinct entities. In the old literature these taxa are often confused, and even in the current literature the separation is not clear, especially in and around the Caribbean.

Following numerous revisions and changes in synonymy, the native American relative is now accepted as Taliparititiliaceum var. pernambucense (Arruda) Fryxell (The Plant List, 2013), with Hibiscuspernambucensis Arruda, Paritiumpernambucense (Arruda) G.Don and Taliparitipernambucense (Arruda) Bovini included as some of the synonyms. That H. tiliaceus and T. tiliaceum are recognized as separate species in The Plant List (2013) adds further to the confusion.

It should also be noted that other previously recorded synonyms for H. tiliaceus are now associated with other taxa, including (i) Hibiscus tiliaceus subsp. hastatus (L. f.) Borss. Waalk. and Hibiscus hastatus L. f. as synonyms of Taliparititiliaceum (L.) Fryxell, (ii) Hibiscusabutiloides Willd. as a synonym of Taliparititiliaceum var. pernambucense (Arruda) Fryxell, and (iii) Hibiscustiliaceus subsp. celebicus (Koord.) Borss. Waalk. as a synonym of Talipariticelebicum (Koord.) Fryxell (The Plant List, 2013).

Further research and clarification of the taxonomic situation, utilizing molecular analysis linked to morphological characters and distribution records, is required to resolve the situation.

The generic name Hibiscus is derived from the Greek ebiskos or ibiskos, the Classical Greek name for the marsh-mallow Althaea officinalis but also often referring to any plant group with sticky mucilaginous parts or pliable stems for basket-making (Quattrocchi, 2012). The specific epithet tiliaceus refers to the morphological similarity of the species’ leaves to those of the linden tree, Tilia sp. 

Description

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H. tiliaceus is a small evergreen tree, 4-10 m tall, with a broad crown of widely spreading or crooked branches, or a shrub with many prostrate branches forming dense thickets. Trees have smooth grey or light brown bark with fibrous inner bark, on a short crooked trunk to 15 cm in diameter. Twigs are stout, with rings at nodes, becoming brown and hairless. Young twigs, leafstalks, lower leaf surfaces, calyx and seed capsules densely covered with minute whitish grey, star-shaped hairs. Leaves are alternate, petioles 5-13 cm, with two large short-pointed whitish hairy basal scales (stipules) 2.5-4 cm long, shedding early and leaving a ring scar. Leaf blades 10-18 cm long and broad, sometimes larger, abruptly short- or long-pointed at apex and heart-shaped at base, rarely wavy toothed on edges, slightly thickened and leathery, shiny yellow-green and hairless on upper surface, lower surface with three narrow glands near base of main veins. Flower clusters (panicles) at or near ends of twigs, branching. Flowers many, few in each cluster, each with whitish hairy stalk 2-5 cm and grey-green hairy basal cup (involucre) 2 cm long, usually with 9-10 narrow pointed lobes. Calyx 2.5-3 cm long, grey-green, hairy, tubular with five narrow long-pointed lobes. Petals five, yellow, usually with dark red spot at base inside, 6-9 cm long, rounded but broader on one side, with tiny star-shaped hairs on outer surface, united at base. Stamens numerous on column, about 5 cm long, united with corolla at base. Pistil has densely hairy, conical five-celled ovary, long slender style and five broad stigmas. Flowers open and close on the same day, the petals withering and turning to orange and later to red. Seed capsules elliptical, 2.5-3 cm long, long-pointed, grey-green hairy, splitting into five parts and breaking open the calyx and involucre which remains attached. Seeds, three from each cell, brownish black, 3-5 mm long, hairless. (Adapted from Little and Skolmen, 1989).

Plant Type

Top of page Broadleaved
Perennial
Seed propagated
Tree
Vegetatively propagated
Woody

Distribution

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H. tiliaceus is an Old World native and is a common coastal plant in and around the Indian Ocean, from East Africa to South and South-East Asia, as well as northern and eastern Australia, and also to the western and central Pacific Ocean islands. Records from West Africa, e.g. from Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia (USDA-ARS, 2016) and Gabon (Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016) are not accepted as H. tiliaceus here.

H. tiliaceus has been observed as naturalized in parts of the New World, including Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but these reports may refer to the closely related native American taxon Talipariti tiliaceum var. pernambucense. In Florida, H. tiliaceus was introduced as an ornamental but escaped from cultivation and now occurs in disturbed coastal sites from Brevard County on the Atlantic Coast and Manatee County on the Gulf Coast, southward (Christman, 2004). According to the FLEPPC (2015), the species invasive in Florida is in fact T.tiliaceum (with H. tiliaceus noted as a synonym). Furthermore, Kairo et al. (2003) note that the species naturalized in Puerto Rico and also present in the US Virgin Islands is H. pernambucense (= T.tiliaceum var. pernambucense).

Several authorities question whether H. tiliaceus is native to Hawaii, as it may have been introduced by the Polynesians, but for all intents and purposes, even if not native, it was at least naturalized in prehistory and is taken as native.

Attention must be given to reports from elsewhere and especially from the South American mainland, as they are very likely to refer to the closely related native American taxon T. tiliaceum var. pernambucense.

H. tiliaceus is noted as a weed on Raoul Island, New Zealand (Devine, 1977); since abandonment of attempts at settlement, H. tiliaceus was one of six species of cultivated exotic plants that became pernicious weeds there, threatening the indigenous vegetation. However, after much work eradicating invasive species since the 1970s, by 1992 H. tiliaceus was removed from the highest priority list and reclassified as only historically significant (West, 2002).

In the Pacific islands, PIER (2016) does not list H. tiliaceus or T. tiliaceum or any combination including the epithet pernambucense. It does however, note T. macrophylum (native to South-East Asia) as introduced and invasive in Hawaii, and three species of Hibiscus (H. diversifolius, H. sabdariffa and H. syriacus), all invasive to parts of the Pacific.

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Continent/Country/RegionDistributionLast ReportedOriginFirst ReportedInvasivePlantedReferenceNotes

Asia

BangladeshPresent Natural
Brunei DarussalamPresent Natural
CambodiaPresent Natural
ChinaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-GuangdongPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
-HainanPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
-Hong KongPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
Christmas Island (Indian Ocean)Present Natural
Cocos IslandsPresent Natural
IndiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Andaman and Nicobar IslandsPresent Planted
-Andhra PradeshPresentPlanted, Natural
-KarnatakaPresent Natural
-KeralaPresent Natural
-Tamil NaduPresent Natural
-West BengalPresent Natural
IndonesiaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-JavaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
-KalimantanPresent Natural
-MoluccasPresent Natural
-SulawesiPresent Natural
-SumatraPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
LaosPresent Natural
MalaysiaPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-Peninsular MalaysiaPresent Natural
-SabahPresent Natural
-SarawakPresent Natural
MaldivesPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
MyanmarPresent Natural
PhilippinesPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
SingaporePresentNative Planted USDA-ARS, 2016
Sri LankaPresentNative Natural Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016
TaiwanPresent Natural
ThailandPresent Natural
VietnamPresentNative Natural Missouri Botanical Garden, 2016

Africa

Côte d'IvoireAbsent, unreliable recordUSDA-ARS, 2016
GabonAbsent, unreliable recordMissouri Botanical Garden, 2016
KenyaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
LiberiaAbsent, unreliable recordUSDA-ARS, 2016
MadagascarPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
MauritiusPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
SeychellesPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
South AfricaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016

North America

USAPresentPresent based on regional distribution.
-FloridaPresentIntroduced1928 Invasive Kaufman and Kaufman, 2012; USDA-NRCS, 2016Naturalized species, possibly a misidentification of Talipariti tiliaceum
-HawaiiPresentNative Invasive Natural USDA-ARS, 2016

Central America and Caribbean

CaribbeanPresent Planted
CubaPresent Planted
Dominican RepublicPresent Planted
HaitiPresent Planted
JamaicaPresent Planted
Puerto RicoPresent Planted
Trinidad and TobagoPresentIntroducedMyers, 1935

Oceania

American SamoaPresent Natural
AustraliaPresentNativeUSDA-ARS, 2016
-Australian Northern TerritoryPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
-New South WalesPresent Natural
-QueenslandPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
Cook IslandsPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
FijiPresentNativePlanted, NaturalUSDA-ARS, 2016
French PolynesiaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
GuamPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
KiribatiPresent Natural
Marshall IslandsPresent Natural
Micronesia, Federated states ofPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
New CaledoniaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
New ZealandPresent, few occurrencesIntroduced Invasive Devine, 1977Largely eradicated on Raoul Island
NiuePresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
Norfolk IslandPresent Natural
Northern Mariana IslandsPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
PalauPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
Papua New GuineaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
Pitcairn IslandPresentPlanted, Natural
SamoaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
Solomon IslandsPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
TokelauPresent Natural
TongaPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
TuvaluPresentNative Natural USDA-ARS, 2016
VanuatuPresent Natural
Wallis and Futuna IslandsPresent Natural

History of Introduction and Spread

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H. tiliaceus is thought to have been introduced to Miami in Florida in 1928 as an ornamental plant (Kaufman and Kaufman, 2012).

Introductions

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Introduced toIntroduced fromYearReasonIntroduced byEstablished in wild throughReferencesNotes
Natural reproductionContinuous restocking
Florida 1928 Ornamental purposes (pathway cause) Yes Kaufman and Kaufman (2012)

Risk of Introduction

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H. tiliaceus is listed as a Category II pest plant by the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (Christman, 2004). This means that it has the potential to be invasive and to displace native species and disrupt native plant communities. However, although the species is not on Florida's list of prohibited plants and is still found for sale by commercial nurseries, Christman (2004) does not recommend the planting of this tree in Florida landscapes. 

Habitat

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H. tiliaceus is common on or near beaches, mangrove swamps and river estuaries, growing well on mud, marl, sand and limestone. Although usually found in coastal and low-elevation habitats, it can be found at elevations of up to 800 m with annual rainfall of 900-2500 mm (Elevitch, 2006). H. tiliaceus develops taller stands on high, well-drained inland sites. It is also reported as a weed in pastures, rangelands and waste places (Haselwood and Motter, 1966).

Habitat List

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CategoryHabitatPresenceStatus
Brackish
Estuaries Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Estuaries Principal habitat Natural
Inland saline areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Littoral
Coastal areas Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Coastal areas Principal habitat Natural
Coastal areas Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Intertidal zone Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Intertidal zone Principal habitat Natural
Mangroves Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Mangroves Principal habitat Natural
Mud flats Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Mud flats Principal habitat Natural
Salt marshes Principal habitat Natural
Salt marshes Principal habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial-managed
Cultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Cultivated / agricultural land Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Disturbed areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Disturbed areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Managed forests, plantations and orchards Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Managed grasslands (grazing systems) Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Urban / peri-urban areas Secondary/tolerated habitat Productive/non-natural
Terrestrial-natural/semi-natural
Natural grasslands Secondary/tolerated habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Natural grasslands Secondary/tolerated habitat Natural
Wetlands Principal habitat Harmful (pest or invasive)
Wetlands Principal habitat Natural

Biology and Ecology

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Genetics

A chromosome number of 2n=86 was recorded for H. tiliaceus for the first time by Satyanarayan Jena et al. (2003).

Little and Skolmen (1989) observed infraspecific variation in H. tiliaceus in Hawaii, including forms with double flowers, white petals with a maroon dot at the base, and pure yellow petals, with one variant introduced into Hawaii from Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, being an erect tree to 20 m tall.

Tang et al. (2003) noted that estimates of genetic diversity in H. tiliaceus agreed with life history traits and geographical distribution, with most genetic diversity in populations corresponding to results reported for outcrossing plants. They concluded that long-distance dispersal of floating seeds may play an important role in shaping the genetic diversity and structure of populations. In later work, Tang et al. (2011) observed that estuarine populations of H. tiliaceus were consistently more genetically variable than inland ones, which they attributed to more extensive gene flow via water dispersal of seeds. Results indicated significant habitat differentiation between the estuarine and inland populations. Estuarine populations were less differentiated than those inland, implying frequent gene interchange in the former, and suggesting that despite substantial gene flow via sea-drifted seeds, habitat-related divergent selection could be one of the primary mechanisms that drive habitat differentiation in H. tiliaceus at a local ecological scale.

Takayama et al. (2006) studied the phylogenetic relationships and spatial genetic structure of H. tiliaceus (noted as a pantropical plant, thus assuming inclusion of H. pernambucense) and allied species. A phylogenetic tree constructed using chloroplast DNA (ctDNA) suggested the possibility that recurrent speciation from H. tiliaceus has given rise to all of its allied species. Three major sequence haplotypes of H. tiliaceus had wide and overlapping distributions throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Ocean regions. This distribution pattern was also confirmed by PCR amplification analyses performed on more than 1100 samples from 65 populations worldwide. Statistical analysis did not show significant genetic differentiation among the H. tiliaceus populations in the three oceanic regions. The results suggested substantial gene flow occurred between populations in the different oceanic regions due to sea-drifted seeds. A strong genetic difference between the Pacific and Atlantic populations of H. pernambucensis Arruda (= T. tiliaceum var. pernambucense) was observed, which indicates that gene flow in this species between the two regions has been prevented. The wide and dominant distribution of a haplotype shared by H. pernambucensis and H. tiliaceus in the Atlantic region suggests significant introgression between the two species in this region.

In further work by Takayama et al. (2008) on genetic differentiation and structure of H. tiliaceus and four allied species as determined using microsatellite markers, only a low level of genetic differentiation among H. tiliaceus populations in the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions was observed. Frequent gene flow by long-distance seed dispersal was responsible for species integration of H. tiliaceus in the wide distribution range. On the other hand, highly differentiated populations of H. tiliaceus were detected in West Africa, as well as of H. pernambucensis in southern Brazil. In the former populations, the African continent may be a geographical barrier that prevents gene flow by sea-drifted seeds. In the latter populations, although there are no known land barriers, the bifurcating South Equatorial Current at the north-eastern horn of Brazil can be a potential barrier to gene flow and may promote the genetic differentiation of these populations. The results also suggested clear species segregation between H. tiliaceus and H. pernambucensis, which confirms the introgression scenario between these two species that was suggested by the previous ctDNA study. The results also provide good evidence for recent transatlantic long-distance seed dispersal by sea currents. Despite the distinct geographical structure observed in the ctDNA haplotypes, a low level of genetic differentiation was found between Pacific and Atlantic populations of H. pernambucensis, which could be caused by transisthmian gene flow (Takayama et al., 2008).

Reproductive Biology

In Hawaii, flowering occurs throughout the year (Little and Skolmen, 1989). Capsules ripen 5-7 weeks after pollination, when they split and break open the calyx and involucre, which remain attached. Seed set appears to be very low but no published data are available. Seeds of other Hibiscus species stored under refrigeration for at least 2 years show a considerable loss of viability, and germination appears to be much higher in fresh seeds immediately after removal from the capsules (Allen, 2002). The carpenter bee Xylocopa varipuncta (Hymenoptera: Apidae) is a pollination agent in the mangrove community of Terengganu, Malaysia (Azmi et al., 2012).

H. tiliaceus can also reproduce vegetatively. On wet sites the lower branches often bend down and take root, resulting in essentially impenetrable thickets (Allen, 2002).

Allen (2002) reports that under commercial forestry conditions, H. tiliaceus seedlings are ready for outplanting when they are 25-40 cm tall, but that the species is more commonly propagated from softwood and hardwood cuttings.

Physiology and Phenology

The anatomy and ontogeny of secretory structures in H. tiliaceus and H. pernambucensis were studied by Rocha et al. (2002) in flowers collected from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Four secretory structures were observed in both species: secretory canals, colleters, mucilaginous idioblasts and extrafloral nectaries, and the anatomical characteristics of both species were very similar.

H. tiliaceus plays an important role in coastal ecosystems, and a study of its ecological and biological characteristics showed that it was a typical heliophyte with high photosynthetic capacity, preferring sunny conditions in tropical and subtropical regions. The chlorophyll fluorescence rapid light response curves of H. tiliaceus showed that relative electron transport rate increased with elevated photosynthetically active radiation, with a relatively high level of energy use efficiency and a high level of nutrient utilization efficiency (Zhang et al., 2012).

Salinity causes a drastic decline in photosynthetic gas exchange in H. tiliaceus leaves through its intrinsic and stomatal components, and the apparent phenotypic plasticity represented by the leaf area modulation is unlikely to be the mechanism by which the species avoids salt stress (Youssef, 2007). Santiago et al. (2000) found that salinity reduced photosynthesis but not growth of upland H. tiliaceus because increased allocation to photosynthetic tissue increased leaf area ratio to compensate for the inhibition of photosynthesis by salinity. Yang et al. (2011) showed that an intertidal wetland population of H. tiliaceus was less susceptible to salt stress in terms of photosynthesis and had a stronger K+:Na+ regulation ability than an inland population, with higher fitness under high salinity probably due to long-term adaptation to the native environment (Yang et al., 2011).

On the basis of leaf anatomical characteristics, it was concluded that H. tiliaceus has an excellent capacity to grow well under polluted environments in Pakistan (Ali Noman et al., 2012).

Associations

H. tiliaceus grows in association with coastal, near-coastal and riverine vegetation, often as a mangrove associate (Elevitch, 2006).

In a study of Hibiscus-insect relationships on the Japanese Bonin (Ogasawara) Islands, Sugiura et al. (2006) examined herbivory and insect communities on flower buds of H. tiliaceus, a species which produces extrafloral nectar from the sepals, and H. glaber [Talipariti glabrum], which does not. Larvae of the endemic moth Rehimena variegata (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) attacked 20% of the flower buds on H. glaber and less than 0.2% of buds on H. tiliaceus. Introduced ant species frequently visited H. tiliaceus flower buds to collect extrafloral nectar from the sepals, while they rarely visited those of H. glaber. It was concluded that extrafloral nectar on H. tiliaceus sepals may function as a facultative defence against flower bud herbivory, and the loss of extrafloral nectaries in H. glaber sepals may be related to the original paucity of native herbivores and ants on the Bonin Islands.

Environmental Requirements

H. tiliaceus is a tropical species of coastal regions. Consequently it tolerates sea spray very well and is often found growing adjacent to the seashore, on or behind beaches as well as around river estuaries. It is adapted to a wide range of soils, from acid to alkaline, from well-drained to poorly drained, and will grow well on coral or quartz sands, marls or limestone-based soils, but also on heavier soils. It does not tolerate frosts and does best in full sun. It cannot tolerate prolonged drought and requires continual soil moisture.

Climate

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ClimateStatusDescriptionRemark
Af - Tropical rainforest climate Preferred > 60mm precipitation per month
Am - Tropical monsoon climate Preferred Tropical monsoon climate ( < 60mm precipitation driest month but > (100 - [total annual precipitation(mm}/25]))
As - Tropical savanna climate with dry summer Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in summer) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])
Aw - Tropical wet and dry savanna climate Tolerated < 60mm precipitation driest month (in winter) and < (100 - [total annual precipitation{mm}/25])

Latitude/Altitude Ranges

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Latitude North (°N)Latitude South (°S)Altitude Lower (m)Altitude Upper (m)
22 31 800

Air Temperature

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Parameter Lower limit Upper limit
Absolute minimum temperature (ºC) 0 14
Mean annual temperature (ºC) 12 32
Mean maximum temperature of hottest month (ºC) 24 41
Mean minimum temperature of coldest month (ºC) 5 24

Rainfall

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ParameterLower limitUpper limitDescription
Dry season duration06number of consecutive months with <40 mm rainfall
Mean annual rainfall9002500mm; lower/upper limits

Rainfall Regime

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Uniform

Soil Tolerances

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Soil drainage

  • impeded
  • seasonally waterlogged

Soil reaction

  • acid
  • alkaline
  • neutral

Soil texture

  • heavy
  • light
  • medium

Special soil tolerances

  • saline

Natural enemies

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Natural enemyTypeLife stagesSpecificityReferencesBiological control inBiological control on
Adoretus sinicus Herbivore Whole plant not specific
Icerya samaraia Herbivore Whole plant not specific
Maconellicoccus hirsutus Herbivore Leaves/Stems not specific
Meloidogyne arenaria Parasite Roots not specific
Meloidogyne javanica Parasite Roots not specific
Myndus taffini Herbivore Leaves/Roots not specific
Steirastoma breve Herbivore Whole plant not specific

Notes on Natural Enemies

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H.tiliaceus is attacked by Icerya samaraia (steatococcus scale), Meloidogyne arenaria (peanut root-knot nematode) and Meloidogyne javanica (sugarcane eelworm). Myers (1935) reported the cacao beetle Steirastoma depressum [Steirastoma breve] on wild-growing H. tiliaceus in Trinidad, while Adoretus sinicus (Chinese rose beetle) and Maconellicoccus hirsutus (pink hibiscus mealybug) have been reported in landscape situations (Elevitch, 2006).

Means of Movement and Dispersal

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Natural Dispersal

As a coastal species and mangrove associate, it is not surprising that dispersal by water appears to be the main evolutionary approach to dissemination and spread. Seeds can remain viable after floating in seawater for several months (Elevitch, 2006). Kudoh et al. (2013) examined seed buoyancy and morphology in the inland species H. glaber [Talipariti glabrum], a tree endemic to the Japanese Bonin Islands, and H. tiliaceus, a pantropical coastal species and a putative progenitor species of H. glaber. Average ratios of floating seeds per tree and the size of air space inside the seed coat were greater in H. tiliaceus.

Intentional Introduction

H. tiliaceus has been used historically in a wide variety of traditional ways, leading some to suggest that it was widely distributed by early oceanic seafarers (Allen, 2002). Early Polynesian settlers are thought to have introduced it to some of the isolated Pacific islands such as the Hawaiian Islands, as well as to atolls where it does not grow well (Thaman and Whistler, 1996). In recent times it has been introduced to many tropical and subtropical countries as an ornamental.

Pathway Vectors

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VectorNotesLong DistanceLocalReferences
Floating vegetation and debris Yes Yes
Water Yes Yes

Impact Summary

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CategoryImpact
Cultural/amenity Positive
Economic/livelihood Positive and negative
Environment (generally) Positive and negative
Human health Positive

Economic Impact

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H. tiliaceus is thought to act as a reservoir for pests and diseases causing economic losses in some cultivated crops. The tree is thought to increase the incidence of infestations of Pythium corm rot when growing near taro (Colocasia esculenta), while in Vanuatu it has been reported as a host for the leafhopper Myndus taffini which transmits the lethal Coconut foliar decay virus to coconut trees (Julia, 1982; Elevitch, 2006).

Environmental Impact

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Impact on Biodiversity

H. tiliaceus is classed as invasive species in central-southern Florida (FLEPPC, 2015) and is noted as naturalized in Puerto Rico, but the exact identity of the species concerned is questioned. Whatever the species, it is noted in Florida as one of the invasive alien plant species threatening the endangered plants Chromolaena frustrata (Cape Sable thoroughwort), Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus) and Harrisia aboriginum (aboriginal prickly-apple) through competition for space, light, water and nutrients, causing population declines in the native species (US Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013).

Threatened Species

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Threatened SpeciesConservation StatusWhere ThreatenedMechanismReferencesNotes
Chromolaena frustrataUSA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesFloridaCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013
Consolea corallicola (Florida semaphore cactus)CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered) CR (IUCN red list: Critically endangered); USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesFloridaCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013
Harrisia aboriginum (Aboriginal prickly-apple)NatureServe NatureServe; USA ESA listing as endangered species USA ESA listing as endangered speciesFloridaCompetition - monopolizing resourcesUS Fish and Wildlife Service, 2013

Risk and Impact Factors

Top of page Invasiveness
  • Invasive in its native range
  • Proved invasive outside its native range
  • Has a broad native range
  • Abundant in its native range
  • Highly adaptable to different environments
  • Pioneering in disturbed areas
  • Benefits from human association (i.e. it is a human commensal)
  • Long lived
  • Fast growing
  • Has high reproductive potential
  • Reproduces asexually
  • Has high genetic variability
Impact outcomes
  • Ecosystem change/ habitat alteration
  • Monoculture formation
  • Negatively impacts agriculture
  • Reduced native biodiversity
  • Threat to/ loss of endangered species
  • Threat to/ loss of native species
Impact mechanisms
  • Competition - monopolizing resources
  • Competition - shading
  • Pest and disease transmission
  • Rapid growth
  • Rooting
Likelihood of entry/control
  • Highly likely to be transported internationally deliberately
  • Difficult to identify/detect in the field
  • Difficult/costly to control

Uses

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Economic Value

H.tiliaceus produces a timber with dark greenish heartwood and whitish sapwood. The wood is moderately soft and porous, moderately heavy (SG 0.6) and strong, very fine and smooth, easy to work and takes a good polish. The wood is durable in sea water and has been widely used for canoe outriggers, fishing floats, planks and pilings (Allen, 2002). The wood has been used by Hawaii’s craftwood industry for carved and turned bowls and bracelets (Little and Skolmen, 1989). The wood most used is the sapwood, with the mottled dark heartwood inclusions giving a marble-like appearance. Freshly cut wood has a smell similar to coconut.

The bark of H. tiliaceus provides a useful fibre that historically has had many uses. The inner bark is used for its fibre to make twine, cordage for ropes, nets, basket ware and fishing lines, as well as the ‘grass skirts’ used for ceremonial occasions and exported for hula dancers from Samoa and elsewhere in the Pacific.

Social Benefit

The flowers, roots and bark of H. tiliaceus have a number of known and potential medicinal properties (e.g. Masuda et al., 2005; Wong and Chan, 2010) and are used in traditional medicine. For example, leaves are wrapped around bone fractures, and fluid from young stems is used as an antiseptic for skin eruptions (Little and Skolmen, 1989).

Roots, flowers and young leaves are edible, and have been used as food, especially in times of famine (Little and Skolmen, 1989). In Indonesia H. tiliaceus is used for fermenting ‘tempeh’, a traditional soyabean product popular on Java; soyabeans are pressed into leaves (which harbour the mould Rhizopus microsporus on their trichomes on the underside) and then stored to allow fermentation (Shurtleff and Aoyagi, 1979).

The bushy habit and decorative flowers make this species an attractive shade or ornamental tree for coastal gardens, although it is easily damaged by sea winds (Little and Skolmen, 1989). H. tiliaceus is commonly used in East Asia as a bonsai plant.

Environmental Services

H. tiliaceus has also been widely planted in some locations for erosion control and dune stabilization (Allen, 2002).

Uses List

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Environmental

  • Agroforestry
  • Amenity
  • Erosion control or dune stabilization
  • Land reclamation

General

  • Ornamental
  • Sociocultural value

Human food and beverage

  • Emergency (famine) food
  • Vegetable

Materials

  • Bark products
  • Baskets
  • Carved material
  • Fibre
  • Wood/timber

Medicinal, pharmaceutical

  • Traditional/folklore

Wood Products

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Boats

Containers

  • Baskets

Roundwood

  • Piles
  • Posts

Sawn or hewn building timbers

  • For light construction
  • Hydraulic works

Woodware

  • Industrial and domestic woodware
  • Wood carvings

Similarities to Other Species/Conditions

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H. tiliaceus is characterized by large, bright yellow, funnel-shaped flowers some 8 cm long and broad, often with a dark red ‘eye spot’ inside. Its almost round, heart-shaped leaves on long petioles have seven or nine main veins, and are whitish grey and pubescent below (Little and Skolmen, 1989). The very closely related T. tiliaceum var. pernambucense is a smaller tree with an open canopy and ovoid fruit capsules (as compared to the larger H. tiliaceus with a generally dense canopy and globular fruit capsules); a detailed description of the differences is given by Bovini (2010).

Thespesia populnea, also a small evergreen tree of the family Malvaceae widely grown for its dark wood in the Pacific islands and throughout the Tropics, is often confused with H. tiliaceus but can be distinguished by its rounded and flattened dark brown seed capsules in the upper crown, and leaves that are narrower than they are long, glossy green, glabrous or sparsely hairy, and smooth-edged (those of H. tiliaceus sometimes have wavy or toothed margins). Additionally in T. populnea, the flowers have an undivided style and pale yellow petals which quickly turn dark reddish pink (Elevitch, 2006). 

Prevention and Control

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Physical/Mechanical Control

H. tiliaceus is very difficult to control due to the presence of many tall, intertwining woody stems. Hand-pulling has been reported to be effective (FLEPPC, 2015), albeit difficult due to the intertwined stems.

Chemical Control

H. tiliaceus is sensitive to 2,4-D, glyphosate and triclopyr applied by notches or drilled holes, but basal bark application of 2,4-D is ineffective (Motooka et al., 2003). When evaluated in the 1960s, several herbicides, including some no longer approved for use, showed some control of H. tiliaceus, but plants recovered within several months of treatment (Motooka et al., 1967).

FLEPPC (2015) reports that effective control is possible with basal bark and cut stump treatments using products containing aminopyralid + triclopyr.

Gaps in Knowledge/Research Needs

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Further research and clarification of the taxonomy, identity and geographic range of H. tiliaceus is required.

References

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09/02/2016 Updated by:

Nick Pasiecznik, Consultant, France

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