This is a good tree for small gardens or patios. Its name Thespesia means
"divinely decreed" and was given by Daniel Solander who saw it in Tahiti as a
member of Captain Cook's ship. Indian tulip tree is an evergreen bushy tree. It
grows to 40 ft or more with a spread of 10–20 ft. It has
heart-shaped leaves and cup-shaped yellow flowers that are produced
intermittently throughout the year in warm climates. Each flower has a maroon
eye that ages to purple. The flowers are followed by apple-shaped fruit.
Medicinal uses: Ground up bark is used to treat skin diseases (India), dysentery and
haemorrhoids (Mauritius) Leaves are applied to inflamed and swollen joints
(South India) When cut, the young fruit secretes a yellow sticky sap used to
treat ringworm and other skin diseases (South India) Roots are used as a
tonic. There is some modern investigation of the plant's effects on high blood
Identification credit: Tabish
Photographed in New Delhi
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The flower labeled Indian Tulip Tree is ...