Indian Tulip Tree   
Foto info
Indian Tulip Tree
Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Indian tulip tree, Aden apple, Portia tree • Hindi: Paras pipal पारस पीपल • Malayalam: Puvarasu • Bengali: Palaspipal • Tamil: பூவரசு Puvarasu
Botanical name: Thespesia populnea      Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Synonyms: Hibiscus populneus, Abelmoschus acuminatus, Hibiscus blumei

This is a good tree for small gardens or patios. Its name Thespesia means "divinely decreed" and was given by Daniel Solander who saw it in Tahiti as a member of Captain Cook's ship. Indian tulip tree is an evergreen bushy tree. It grows to 40 ft or more with a spread of 10–20 ft. It has heart-shaped leaves and cup-shaped yellow flowers that are produced intermittently throughout the year in warm climates. Each flower has a maroon eye that ages to purple. The flowers are followed by apple-shaped fruit.
Medicinal uses: Ground up bark is used to treat skin diseases (India), dysentery and haemorrhoids (Mauritius) Leaves are applied to inflamed and swollen joints (South India) When cut, the young fruit secretes a yellow sticky sap used to treat ringworm and other skin diseases (South India) Roots are used as a tonic. There is some modern investigation of the plant's effects on high blood pressure.

Photographed in New Delhi
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