|Blue mahoes are common urban trees in Jamaica. This one is growing in Emancipation Park, Kingston.|
Hibiscus elatus Sw.
Talipariti elatum is native to the islands of Cuba, Jamaica the US. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. In wetter areas it will grow in a wide range of elevations, up to 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) and is often used in reforestation. It is the national tree of Jamaica.
The Talipariti elatum tree is quite attractive with its straight trunk, broad green leaves and hibiscus-like flowers. It grows quite rapidly, often attaining 20 metres (66 ft) or more in height. The attractive flower changes color as it matures, going from bright yellow to orange red and finally to crimson.
The wood has a musical quality and has been traditionally used in the making of cuatros, a type of lute. Fine boxes, furniture, inlay works, floors, details, turned pieces, exquisite jewelleries, sculptures, and ancient board games, have been, and demand to be transformed from the Mahoe. Architects, furniture-makers, designers, artists and wood lovers will find a charm in working with this wood. It has fine sanding and turning qualities, and a natural gloss in the wood when finely finished. The wood is not usually blue, but brown. In some lumber there can be grey, green, black, blue and purple colors all combined in just one small piece. Growing conditions may be responsible for the color variations but this has not been proven.
- "Talipariti elatum (Sw.) Fryxell". Tropicos.org. Missouri Botanical Garden. 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- "Talipariti elatum". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
- Hibiscus elatus Sw. "mahoe". U.S. Department of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Service. Plants Database. Retrieved 6 September 2013.
- "Eye on the Forest". Tropic Ventures Rainforest Enrichment and Sustainable Forestry Project. Retrieved 2009-01-27.