Blue mahoe


Blue mahoe is native to Cuba and Jamaica. It was introduced to Puerto Rico during the 1940s. It reaches a height of 115 feet, with a trunk 3 or more feet in diameter. The leaves are up to 7 inches wide. Flowers are up to 5 inches wide and are yellow in the morning, turning orange and red before falling in the afternoon. Fruits are up to 1.5 inches long and open in five parts to liberate many small seeds. It flowers and produces fruits irregularly throughout the year. The wood blue-violet with greenish and grayish overtones, it is used for furniture, turnery, carving, string instruments, and other crafts. The generic name derives from two words: pariti, referring to hibiscus, and tali, meaning slimy, in reference to a slimy bark that was used in India as shampoo. The species name means tall, in reference to the size of the mature tree.

The photographed tree is south of faculty offices building. There are other trees west of the Auxiliary Services Department, near the entrance to the Building B parking lot, southwest of the latter building, and west of the Chardón Building; the latter was planted in 1976 by the Alumni Association to commemorate the university’s 65th anniversary.

Talipariti elatum (Malvaceae)