The portia tree (Thespesia populnea) Family Malvaceae, is a small tree or shrub 5-10 (-20) m high that is pantropical in littoral environments, although probably native only to the Old World. In Hawai‘i and elsewhere in the Pacific it is possibly indigenous, although may have been spread by early Polynesians for its useful wood and fiber.
Common names vary according to the country and include "Indian tulip tree", "Pacific rosewood", "seaside mahoe" (in Florida), surina (the "elegant tree"), suriya (Sinhala), bebaru or baru baru (Malay), milo or miro (in many Polynesian languages), mako‘i (Rapanui), gangaraavi (Telugu), poovarasu (Tamil), and plaksa (Sanskrit).
Traditionally it was planted in sacred groves and used for religious sculpture throughout eastern Polynesia. It was used for the rongorongo tablets of Easter Island.
Sources[change | change source]
- Binggeli, P. 1999.Miro Archived 2005-12-22 at the Wayback Machine
Other websites[change | change source]
- Milo at Canoe Plants of Ancient Hawaii
- ↑ http://www.hibiscus.org/species/tpopulnea.php
- ↑ "hibiscus.org - Thespesia populnea". www.hibiscus.org.
- ↑ Orliac, Catherine. 2005. The Rongorongo Tablets from Easter Island: Botanical Identification and 14C Dating.Archaeology in Oceania 40.3.