Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Thespesia populnea (L.) Sol. ex Correa in Ann. Mus. Herb. Paris 9: 290, t. 8 f. 1. 1807; Masters in Fl. Brit. India 1: 345. 1874. Hibiscus populneus L., Sp. Pl. 694. 1753. Thespesia macrophylla Blume, Bijdt. 2: 73. 1825.

Beng.: Dumbla, Parespipal, Palaopipal, Gajashuni; Guj.: Parasapupala; Kan.: Hoovarase, Kandorola, Adavibendi, Jogiyarala; Mal.: Poovarasu; Mar.: Paravhajhada, Bendika Jhar; Or.: Gunjausto, Porosopippoli; Punj.: Paraspipal; Sans.: Gardha-bhanda; Tam.: Poovarasam kallaql Cheelanthi; Tel.: Gangaraavi, Munigangaraavi, Gangareenu.

Trees, 5 - 10 m tall; twigs densely covered with minute scales, glabrescent. Leaves 5 - 20 x 5.5 - 15 cm, orbicular, deltoid, ovate or oblong, deeply cordate at base, acute to acuminate at apex, entire, 7-nerved at base, domatia present, in between the bases of main veins beneath, when young brown or bronze green by densely covered scales, glabrescent; petioles 5 - 15 cm long, scaly; stipules 4 - 10 mm long, lanceolate to linear, acute, caducous. Flowers solitary, axillary; pedicels 2 - 5 cm long, slightly accrescent, erect or ascending, jointed near base, glabrescent. Epicalyx segments 3, 5 - 15 x 2 - 3 mm, oblong to lanceolate, acute, subcoriaceous, densely scaly, caducous. Calyx 8 - 12 mm high and ca 1.8 cm in diam., cupular, coriaceous, accrescent and flattened in fruit, scaly outside, densely sericeous by simple hairs inside. Corolla light yellow with dark purple centre, ultimately reddish, broadly campanulate; petals 5 - 7.5 x 4 - 6 cm, obliquely obovate, narrowed and fleshy at base, rounded at apex, densely scaly, outside, glabrous inside, ciliate at base. Staminal column 1.5 - 2.5 cm long. Ovary 6 - 8 mm in diam., globose to ovoid, scaly, 10-locular, ovules 4 in each locule; styles ca 3 cm long; stigmas connate to a clavate 5-sulcate body. Capsules 2 - 3.5 cm across, globose, obtuse or slightly depressed often with a short mucro at apex, at first scaly becoming glabrescent, irregularly crumpled at maturity, indehiscent. Seeds 6 - 10 x 5 - 8 mm, obovoid, angular, acute to shortly acuminate at base, rounded at apex, covered with yellowish-brown, long, simple hairs, densely so on angles, veined.

Fl. & Fr. Aug. - Jan.

Distrib. India: Throughout in coastal regions; often cultivated in interior areas.

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