Thespesia populnea

Reference No :


Scientific Name :

Thespesia populnea

Sinhala Name :

ගංසූරිය (GAN SOORIYA)

Tamil Name :

பூவரசு மரம் (PUVARASU MARAM)

Other Common Names :

Indian tulip tree, Aden apple tree, Milo tree, Heartwood tree

Plant Family :


Plant Group :

Angiosperms (Enclosed Seed)

Crown Architecture :

Spreading Canopy;   Irregular Canopy

Plant Categories :

Aquatic Ecosystem Plants;   Aquatic Plants;   Canopy plants;   Coastal Plants;   Common Landscaping Plants;   Dry Zone Plants;   Edible Plants;   Flowering Plants;   Herbal Plants;   Mangrove Surrounding Plants;   Medium Size Trees;   Ornamental Plants;   Roadside Plants;   Fast Growing Plant;   Sun Loving Plants;   Trees;   Wet Zone Plants;   Wild Plants

Native Region(s) :

Asia;   Africa

Plant Distribution(s) :

Africa;   Asia;   North America;   Oceania;   South America

Elevation :

Above sea level up to 150 m

Average Height :

6.00-10.00 m

Maximum Height :


Average Width :


Maximum Width :


Propogation(s) :

By Roots;   By Cutting

Average Longevity :

more than 30 years

Indoor :


Meicinal Use :


Medicinal Value :

Leaves, Oil and Bark for Piles, Fractures, Ulcers, Boils andFlatulence in Sinhala Ayurveda

Benefits & Uses :

The heartwood of the Portia tree is dark reddish brown to chocolate brown and has a specific gravity of 0.55 to 0.89. 

Portia tree is known as milo or miro in Polynesian languages. It is popular in Hawaii for woodworking (commonly turned into bowls) because of the range of colours expressed (tan, through yellow, to red). Traditionally it was planted in sacred groves and used for religious sculpture throughout eastern Polynesia. In Tahiti, Milo wood is used in the making of the to'ere (slotted wooden drum), used in traditional Tahitian tribal drumming. Makoʻi was used for the rongorongo tablets of Easter Island. Since the advent of aluminium-hulled boats in the 20th century, Pitcairners have made regular trips to Henderson Island to harvest miro wood. Usually they venture to Henderson only once per year, but may make up to three trips if the weather is favourable. Pitcairners carve the wood into curios, from which they derive much of their income. 

In New Ireland, Portia wood is used to make hourglass drums. In Tonga, its bark is used to treat mouth infections among infants, and its wood is used to make canoes, house parts, and artwork. 

In South Asia, it is used to make the thavil, a Carnatic musical instrument of South India. The flower of the Portia tree played a part in Sri Lanka's independence struggle, when it was sold on Remembrance Day by the Suriya-Mal Movement instead of the poppy to aid indigenous ex-servicemen. The wood from the tree was used by early Tamil people to make instruments in ancient Tamilakam.

Plant Disease(s) :

Root Rot Disease;   Pests of Cotton


Leaf Shape :

Cordate Shape

Leaf Arrangement :

Spiral leaf arrangement


Is Flowering :



Bears Fruits :



Soil Types :

Sandy Soil;   Clay Soil;   Loam Soil;   Neutral Soil (pH 6.6-7.3);   Well Drained Soil

Water :

Water Logging

Sunlight :


Humidity :



Is Edible :


Legal Status

Flora and Fauna Protection Ordinance :


Forest Department List :