Portia Tree

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Thespesia populnoides

Family : Malvaceae

The Portia Tree is a smaller tree that is typically multistemmed and quite spreading. Thespesia populnoides is very similar to Hibiscus tiliaceus, but differs in that its large heart shaped leaves are smooth and shiny.

The flower is also very similar being a large yellow flower with a purple centre. It is a single flower that appears on a stalk. The fruit is a woody brown, rounded capsule that looks leathery. The pod contains several small brown seeds that are viable even after soaking in salt or fresh water.

This plant is hardy in a wide range of environments. It grows well in sand or well-drained soils, but will tolerate most soils. This is a great plant for any size garden as it is attractive year round, has beautiful flowers, and does not grow too large.


Quick Facts

Flowers January to May
Fruit May to August
Coastal Zone Dune Crest - Hind Dune
Fauna Habitat Bees, Insects and Others
Growth Habit Tree
Typical Height <8m
Soils Most Soils
Amount of Sun Full or Partial Sun
Amount of Water Dry Areas through to Wet Areas
Salt Tolerance Extremely Tolerant


NQ Dry Tropics gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the Coastal Dry Tropics Landcare Group Incorporated (CTDLI) to the development of this page's information.

Related information

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