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Talipariti elatum - (Sw.) Fryxell

Common Name Blue Mahoe
Family Malvaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dry woodlands[307 ].
Range Caribbean - Cuba, Jamaica.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Talipariti elatum Blue Mahoe

Talipariti elatum Blue Mahoe


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Found in the Caribbean, Blue Tahoe or Talipariti elatum is an evergreen flowering tree growing up to 25 m in height and 45 cm in trunk diameter. It belong in the mallow or Malvaceae family. It is known as the national tree of Jamaica. The trunk is straight, leaves are broad green, and flowers are attractive, changing colors as it matures - from bright yellow to orange red to crimson. No plant part is edible but leaves and young shoots are used in the treatment of dysentery. Inner bark is made into durable ropes and cords. The wood, characterized by blue-green streaks when polished, is moderately heavy but very hard and is used for furniture, carriage and cart work, railway sleepers, etc.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Talipariti elatum is an evergreen Tree growing to 25 m (82ft) by 25 m (82ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Hibiscus azanzae DC. Hibiscus elatus Sw. Hibiscus tiliaceus elatus (Sw.) Hochr. Pariti grande Britto


Edible Uses

None known

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.

An infusion of the mucilaginous leaves and young shoots is used in the treatment of dysentery[342 ].

Other Uses

Other Uses: The bark is clear in colour, rather soft in texture, and consists of many layers that can be separated after beating. The inner bark is used for making rope and cord, which is reported to be very durable in salt and brackish water[378 ]. The fibres of the bark of young trees make good ropes[342 ]. The lace-like inner bark was at one time known as Cuba bark from its being used as the material for tying round bundles of Havana cigars[342 ]. The heartwood is basically a greyish brown or olive, but is often richly variegated with streaks of purple, metallic blue, and olive, or separated by plain olive patches. The best forms have the appearance, when polished, of dark-green variegated marble[342 , 378 ]. The sapwood is narrow and nearly white. The grain is fairly straight; texture medium to somewhat coarse; surface lustrous; there is no distinctive odour or taste present in seasoned wood[342 , 378 ]. The wood is moderately heavy; very hard, but not so hard as rosewood (Amyris balsamifera); tough; durable to very durable[378 ]. It is very flexible, and is said to have all the characters of the best European ash, but to be more durable and longer in the fibre[342 ]. It works easily, but needs particular care to attain a good polish[378 ]. Wood of good colour is used in cabinet work, for furniture etc, it is much used locally for building purposes, for carriage and cart work and for railway sleepers, it also yields good shingles[342 ]. Use is also made of it for gun-stocks, carriage poles, ships' knees, and fishing rod[46 , 342 ].

Cultivation details

A tree of the lowland tropics. It is not well suited to areas with a mean annual rainfall less than 1,500mm[378 ]. Grows in the wild in a wide range of soils[378 ]. A very wind-resistant species, capable of withstanding hurricanes[307 ]. Trees can flower and produce fruit all year round[714 ].

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Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Belize, Cuba, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Nicaragua, Pacific, Panama Puerto Rico, South America, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago, West Indies*,

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 NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Talipariti tiliaceumBeach Hibiscus, Sea Hibiscus, Cottontree, Mahoe32


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(Sw.) 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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