50. Thespesia Solander ex Corrêa, Ann. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat. 9: 290, plate 25, fig. 1. 1807. name conserved.
[Greek thespesios, divine, wondrous, or excellent, alluding to planting in sacred groves and use for carving religious sculpture] [Greek thespesios, divine, wondrous, or excellent, alluding to planting in sacred groves and use for carving religious sculpture]
Paul A. Fryxell
Steven R. Hill
Trees [shrubs]. Stems erect, glabrous or hairy when young, usually glandular-punctate, not viscid. Leaves: stipules persistent or deciduous, lanceolate or falcate; blade ovate, unlobed [3-lobulate], base deeply cordate [shallowly cordate to ± truncate], margins entire, surfaces glabrate [hairy], with abaxial foliar nectaries. Inflorescences axillary solitary flowers, [sometimes aggregated apically]; involucel present, bractlets caducous, 3, distinct. Flowers: calyx not accrescent, not inflated, lobes truncate [to 5-lobed], not ribbed; corolla yellow [white or rose], with [without] maroon spot at base, usually fading pinkish orange; staminal column usually included; ovary 3–5-carpellate, style 3–5-branched; stigmas clavate. Fruits capsules, erect, somewhat inflated, oblate, coriaceous [ligneous], lepidote [glabrous or hairy], indehiscent [dehiscent]. Seeds 3–5 per locule, short-hairy [glabrous]. x = 13.
Species 17 (1 in the flora): introduced, Florida; Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands (Papua New Guinea), Australia; introduced also in Mexico, West Indies, n South America.
SELECTED REFERENCE Fosberg, F. R. and M.-H. Sachet. 1972. Thespesia populnea (L.) Solander ex Corrêa and Thespesia populneoides (Roxburgh) Kosteletzky (Malvaceae). Smithsonian Contr. Bot. 7: 1–13.