Ocean Park Hong Kong
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Cuban Bast

Cuban Bast
Scientific Name

Hibiscus tiliaceus

Other Common Name(s)
Sea Hibiscus
Height
Up to 7 m
Origin
Tropical and subtropical zones
Flowering Season
June to August
Reproduction
Pollinated by insects. Seeds dispersed by water.

Fun Facts

  • With salt glands on the leaves, Cuban bast can excrete excess salt and survive in regions of high salinity. They are also fast-growing and resistant to wind. They are planted near the coast as wind shelter.

  • In the old days, people in Taiwan used the large leaves to wrap dumplings or hold them like a plate. These dumplings were used to treat relatives and friends during Chinese New Year.

Conservation & Importance

Cuban bast is a native tree species in Hong Kong. The leaves can feed the caterpillars of a butterfly called chestnut angle. The leaf secretion is the food of weaver ants, and the seeds can be eaten by cotton stainer bugs.

Protect local insect species by protecting trees!