Maga is endemic to Puerto Rico but has been introduced to Florida, the Caribbean, Central America, and other countries. It reaches a height of 50 feet, with a trunk 1.5 feet in diameter.  The leaves are up to 9 inches long. Flowers are up to 6.5 inches in diameter and solitary. Fruits are about 2 inches long and remain green, bats consume the pulp and disperse the seeds. It flowers and produces fruits throughout the year. The wood is chocolate-colored and is used for string instruments and crafts.  The generic name means marvelous or divine, in reference to the color change exhibited by the flowers of some species of the genus. The species name means large flower.

The photographed tree is part of a row of six trees planted south of the Chemistry Building. There are other trees west of Building B, south of the Civil Engineering student parking lot, behind the Piñero Building, and  west of the Chardón Building; the latter was planted in 1976 by the Alumni Association to commemorate the university’s 65th anniversary. Maga is widely regarded as our national tree and flower.

Thespesia grandiflora (Malvaceae)