Comprehensive Description

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Comprehensive Description

Thespesia populnea is a small evergreen tree, typically reaching 6 to 10 meters in height, found widely in coastal areas of the tropics and warm subtropics from sea level up to around 150 meters elevation. It thrives on sandy coastal soils, but grows also on volcanic, limestone, and rocky soils. It grows at a moderate rate, around 0.6 to 1 meter per year for the first few years. The wood of this tree is excellent for carving. Both the fruits and seeds can be dispersed by ocean currents. The tolerance of T. populnea of wind, salt spray, and periodic inundation with brackish water and its ability to thrive in sandy, saline soils make these trees useful as coastal windbreaks. This species is apparently native to coastal areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans from East Africa and India to mainland Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. However, it now has a pantropical distribution, ranging from the Pacific to the Caribbean and the coast of Africa. (Little and Wadsworth 1964, Whistler 1992; Friday and Okano 2006)


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© Shapiro, Leo

Source: EOL Rapid Response Team


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