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Mampoo Pisonia subcordata (water mampoo, loblolly tree)

St. John USVI Flora: Mampoo

 

 

st john flora: mampoo
Mampoo

 

The mampoo is relative of the common bougainvillea. It can be found on shorelines but is more commonly found as elevation increases and coastal scrub lands give way to dry forests. It is often the largest species in the dry forest environment

 

 

st john flora: mampoo
Mampoo Trunk

 

 

The trunk of the mampoo holds water enabling the tree enables it to resist prolonged periods of droughts.

 

 

 

Disgusting Tree?
My friend, King, says that the Mampoo is dis-GUSTING messy tree - and he has a point.

st john flora: mampoo seeds
Green Mampoo Seeds
st john flora: mampoo seeds
Green Mampoo Seeds

 

In the springtime the mampoo goes to seed, the female of the species, making a kind of flower that starts off green and then turns black.

 

 

 

 

st john flora: mampoo seeds
Black Mampoo Seeds
st john flora: mampoo seeds
sticky stuff on seeds

 

The tennis-ball sizes flower looks like a miniature tree that's branches end with little black seeds instead of leaves.

 

 

 

 

st john flora: mampoo seeds
Seed on the Ground
st john flora: mampoo seeds
Seeds

On the end of each seed is a ball of sticky hooked spikes that stick on to skin or clothing like sticky velcro. If you have a mampoo on the way to your house you will surely find the little seeds everywhere during April and May, the time that they fall from the tree.

Disgusting it may be, but I still find the mampoo to be a beautiful shade tree and I'm happy to have them near my house, except in April and May, that is.

 

 

st john flora: male mampoo flower
Male Flower

 

Only the female mampoo produces the sticky, messy seed. The male produces a flower, that when it falls, doesn't stick to everything it touches and can be easily swept up.