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Talipariti tiliaceum - (L.) Fryxell

Common Name Beach Hibiscus, Sea Hibiscus, Cottontree, Mahoe
Family Malvaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Found throughout the tropics, often on beaches, saline swamps and disturbed places[302 , 307 ]. Sometimes forms nearly impenetrable thickets, especially along the sides of streams[302 ].
Range Pantropical.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Full sun
Talipariti tiliaceum Beach Hibiscus, Sea Hibiscus, Cottontree, Mahoe

Talipariti tiliaceum Beach Hibiscus, Sea Hibiscus, Cottontree, Mahoe


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Talipariti tiliaceum or commonly known as Beach Hibiscus is an evergreen shrub or small tree characterized by low and spreading branches, heart-shaped leaves, and bright yellow with red center flowers that become orange then red over time. It grows about 10 m tall and 15 cm in trunk diameter. The flowers are edible raw or cooked. The leaves can be fermented into a sauce or boiled to make Onge tea. Young leaves and green bark can also be eaten. Medicinally, the flowers are laxative. Leaf infusion is used in childbirth and for postpartum discharges. Additionally, leaves are used for sores, cuts, open wounds, boils, and swellings. Other medicinal uses of beach hibiscus is for coughs, sore throats, tuberculosis, skin conditions, eye injuries and infections, stomach pain, fractured bones and sprained muscles, gonorrhea, and fever. It is also used to promote menstruation. Fibers from the bark are made into cords, ropes, and traditional tapa bark cloth. Dried wood is used for fireworks. Wood is used for fuel and firewood. It is also suitable fo

Physical Characteristics

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Talipariti tiliaceum is an evergreen Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10. The flowers are pollinated by Insects, Birds.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid, very alkaline and saline soils.
It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist or wet soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Hibiscus abutiloides Willd. Hibiscus boninensis Nakai Hibiscus circinnatus Willd. Hibiscus porophyll

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Inner bark  Leaves
Edible Uses: Condiment  Tea

Flowers - raw or cooked. They can be cooked as a potherb[301 ]. The flowers are produced all year round[302 ]. Leaves[301 ]. They can be fermented into a sauce, used as a substrate for the tempeh starter culture, or boiled in salted water to make the beverage known as Onge tea[301 ]. The young leaves are eaten in times of famine[307 ]. The green bark is eaten in times of famine[307 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Antibacterial  Antitussive  Febrifuge  Laxative  Ophthalmic  Poultice

The flowers and the sap of the plant are widely utilized in a variety of medicines[302 ]. The flowers are laxative[307 ]. An infusion of the leaves is used to aid in the delivery of a child[311 ]. Postpartum discharges are treated with an infusion of the leaves[311 ]. The leaves are used in treating coughs and sore throats[311 ]. They are made into a paste and used as a poultice for sores, cuts, open wounds, boils and swellings[311 ]. The bark and leaves of H. tiliaceus are used medicinally, especially to relieve coughs, sore throats and tuberculosis[303 ]. In Tonga, the bark and the young leaves are used to treat skin diseases[311 ]. The bark, on its own, is used in treating eye infections and injuries, and stomach-aches[311 ]. An infusion of the bark is taken three times if the placenta is retained after the birth of the child[311 ]. The fluid from the bark is used to promote menstruation[311 ]. The Cook Island Maoris use the bark, together with coconut bark or husk, to make an infusion used for bathing fractures[311 ]. In Fiji, the leaves are wrapped around fractured bones and sprained muscles[311 ]. Juice from the leaves is used in treating gonorrhoea[311 ]. Acetone extracts from the leaves of H. tiliaceus showed antibacterial activity[303 ]. A treatment made from the leaves, roots and bark is given for fever[311 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Fencing  Fibre  Fuel  Hedge  Paper  Shelterbelt  Soil stabilization  String  Waterproofing  Weaving  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: Although its natural habit is a tree, the plant is amenable to pruning and can be grown as a hedge[302 , 307 ]. It is commonly planted as living fencing, whilst a creeping variety is planted as a wind-break in Hawaii[339 ]. It has also been used to reforest eroded land, contain beach erosion, coastal rehabilitation, as a shade tree and a wind-break, especially along the seashore[303 , 307 ]. Other Uses The bark fibres can be used for cordage[302 ]. It is used to manufacture a good quality rope which is can be used for caulking boats and is also used for plaiting mats[303 ]. The green bark peels off easily in wide strips[307 ]. It is used for making a fine fibre and is also beaten out to make traditional tapa bark cloth[307 ]. Tapa cloth is produced by beating strips of bark on a flat surface with a wooden mallet. A very fine cloth can be made in this way, the more the bark is beaten the finer the cloth becomes. Larger sizes can be made by overlapping 2 pieces of bark and beating them together[171 ]. The fibre from the bark has a wide range of other applications, including being used as canoe caulking; to make cordage for clothing and dancing skirts and kilts; coconut-climbing bandages or foot harnesses; mats; sandals; sewing tape; paint brushes; slings; kava strainers[339 ]. The wood, when dried for six months, is used for fireworks[339 ]. The heartwood is a dark greenish brown; the sapwood whitish. The wood is light in weight, moderately soft and porous. The wood is useful for light construction, net floats and corks[302 , 307 ]. An important wood for the Polynesians, who use it for a wide range of purposes, including the outriggers of canoes, carving, house rafters, pig-tethering posts, spreaders, bailers, booms and occasionally hulls, fishing rods, hoists and floats, fishnet frames and handles, bows, fruit-picking rods, tools etc[307 , 339 ]. The wood is used for fuel[307 ]. It makes a decent firewood, especially for slow smoking, and is used in making fire by friction[339 ]. Paper manufactured from H. Tiliaceus pulp is of low quality as the fibres are short (0.7-1.3 mm) and is only suitable for wrapping paper[303 ].

Special Uses

Coppice  Food Forest  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Beach hibiscus is a tropical plant that is usually found in coastal and low elevation habitats, but can be found at elevations up to 800 metres[303 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall of 900 to 2,500mm with a mean maximum temperature 24 - 41°c and a mean minimum temperature of 5 - 24°c[303 ]. Prefers a moist but well-drained, humus-rich, fertile soil in a sunny position[200 , 302 , 307 ]. Succeeds in poor soils[303 ]. The plant is ideally suited to coastal locations and is highly tolerant of salt wind and salty soils[302 , 303 , 307 ]. Established plants are drought tolerant[307 ]. The plant coppices readily and, when cut back, produces many long, vigorous shoots with a high fibre production[303 ]. Plants can flower and fruit all year round unless there is a dry season[714 ]. A shallow-rooted species, it is prone to being wind-blown when grown in a windy position, the branches quickly producing new roots from which develop new plants. In this way the plant can form dense thickets over large areas, especially where the trees are growing in soft mud[303 , 307 ]. This habit of regeneration can be common especially after cyclones[303 ]. Flowering Time: Blooms all year. Bloom Color: Pink Scarlet (Dark Red) Pale Yellow. Spacing: 15-18 in. (38-45 cm).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow in situ or in containers. Germination is usually quite rapid. Prick out container-grown seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions when they are 10cm or more tall. Cuttings of half-ripe wood in a frame. Large limbs can be planted as living posts and usually root easily[307 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

holo, xtolo, majahua, majagua, masahua, mazahua, emajagua, huamaga, damajagua, algodoncillo, majagua macho, majagua de playa, nau, fau, pago, maíñu, ma mo, parutti, sea hibiscus, sea hibiscus|belipatta, umilolo, umlolwa.

Angola; Australia; Bahamas; Bangladesh; Barbados; Belize; Brazil; Cambodia; Cayman Islands; China; Christmas Island; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Colombia; Congo; Cook Islands; Costa Rica; Cuba; Côte d'Ivoire; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; Equatorial Guinea; Fiji; French Polynesia; Gambia; Ghana; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Guam; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Guyana; Honduras; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Jamaica; Japan; Kenya; Kiribati; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Liberia; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Martinique; Mauritius; Mexico; Micronesia, Federated States of; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Nicaragua; Nigeria; Niue; Norfolk Island; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Panama; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn; Puerto Rico; Saint Bathélemy; Saint Lucia; Saint Martin (French part); Saint Vincent and the Grenadines; Samoa; Senegal; Seychelles; Sierra Leone; Singapore; Solomon Islands; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Suriname; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Trinidad and Tobago; Tuvalu; Vanuatu; Viet Nam; Wallis and Futuna

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Talipariti elatumBlue MahoeTree25.0 10-12 FLMHNDM024

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(L.) Fryxell

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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