Indian Tulip Tree / Poovarasan

Thespesia populnea



General Information :

  • It is a small to medium sized fast growing tree with dense spreading crown.
  • Bark grey to brown in color.
  • Dark green heart shaped leaves.
  • Flowers bell shaped yellow with deep maroon in center.
  • Fruit is a capsule with 1-3 egg shaped seeds.

Distribution :

  • It is widely distributed in all parts of India.

Habitat : Tropical and deciduous forest.

Soil : It thrives on sandy coastal soils, but grows also on volcanic, limestone, and rocky soils.

Soil pH : 5.5 and 7.5

Altitude :Up to 1000 m (MSL)

Rainfall :750-1900mm

Temperature : 35-46 deg c

Terrain : Plains and gentle slopes

Tree Characteristics :
  • It is fast-growing tree salt-resistant and suitable for growing on saline soils in the coastal areas and water-logged areas.

Habit : Evergreen tree

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Scattered seeds may germinate especially in the abandoned areas etc.,

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Propagated by Nursery raised seedlings.

Seed collection and Storage :

  • Ripe pods are collected from the tree in March-April.
  • They dried in sun for removal of light mallet.
  • Individual pod contain 3-10 seeds/pod.
  • About 1800-2000 seeds/kg.

Seed Treatment :

  • Soaking the seeds in hot water for removal of seed coat.

Nursery Technique :

  • The seeds are sown in mother bed.
  • Two leaf stage seedlings are transferred to polybags.
  • Germination percentage is 50-75 %.

Plantation technique :

  • Pit size 30 cm3
  • Spacing 3m x 3m or 5m x 5m can be adopted.

Care & Disease Control :

  • Regular pruning is essential.
  • Weeding and soil working are required in the first two years.
  • Deep mulching for young trees should be ensured.

Irrigation :

  • No special irrigation required.
  • In case of Dry soil, fortnightly watering is recommended.

Recommended Harvest :


  • 10-15 years

Yield :

  • Approximately 120 to 150 tons/ ha.

Agro Forestory :

It has been planted to provide support for vanilla plants.

Major uses :

  • The tree is valuable as a coastal windbreak
  • The timber is very durable under water; it is popular for boat building.
  • The tough, fibrous bark yields a strong fiber used for cordage, fishing lines, coffee bags and for caulking boats.

Other uses :

Other UsesThe tough, fibrous bark yields a strong fibre used for cordage, fishing lines, coffee bags and for caulking boats.An oil is obtained from the seed. It can be used in is very durable under water, it is popular for boat building. The wood is used for fuel.

Market details :

  • Approximately Rs.3000 – Rs.3500/ton.