Monographs Details: Pariti tiliaceum (L.) A.Juss.
Authority: Britton, Nathaniel L. Flora Borinqueña.
Description:Species Description - Useful through its fibrous bark and durable wood, Mahoe is one of the most widely distributed tropical trees, growing nearly throughout all warm regions, in America ranging north to Florida and Bermuda; it is abundant in Porto Rico in moist and wet parts of the island and occasional in the drier districts, extending from sea-level to the higher elevations, at least up to about 800 meters elevation, thus having a greater altitudinal range than most other kinds of native trees; it is often planted.
The genus Pariti, first recognized as distinct from Hibiscus, by the French botanist Adanson in 1763, contains only a few species, and only the one here illustrated occurs in Porto Rico; another, with larger flowers, is native in Jamaica, Cuba, and southern Florida. The generic name is recorded as that used for the tree in Malabar. These trees differ from the species of Hibiscus in the structure of the fruit, which has characteristic vertical dissepiments, and in features of the involucre which subtends the flowers.
Pariti tiliaceum (Linden-like, from fancied resemblance) is a tree which reaches a maximum height of about 18 meters, with a trunk up to about 0.6 meters in diameter, but it is usually much smaller, commonly shrubby, and gregarious in colonies; the twigs are velvety, the gray bark furrowed. The fibrous inner bark is used for making ropes and cordage. The wood is greenish, strong, hard, and durable, used for making furniture, for railroad ties, and in construction. The leaves are long-stalked, thin, nearly orbicular, heart-shaped at base, abruptly short-pointed, velvety when young, the largest, borne on young plants, sometimes 20 centimeters long, those of old trees smaller; their margins are nearly continuous, without teeth or lobes, and the under side is pale, or whitish. The flowers, borne solitary among the leaves, are conspicuous; they are stalked, and subtended by a 10-cleft involucre about 12 millimeters high; the calyx is 5-toothed and about 2 centimeters long; the 5, yellow, broad petals fade orange and sometimes have a red blotch at the base, are 5 or 6 centimeters long, and splits when ripe, releasing the many small, smooth seeds.
Hibiscus tiliaceus Linnaeus, Species Plantarum 604. 1753.
Pariti (um) tiliaceum St. Hilaire, Flora Brasiliae Meridionalis 1: 236. 1827.