Hibiscus tiliaceus

Hibiscus tiliaceus flower
Hibiscus tiliaceus
Burleigh Heads beach front.
Hibiscus tiliaceus Flower

Genus: Hibiscus.

species: tiliaceus 


Common Name: Coast (or Coastal) Cottonwood, Native Hibiscus. 

Etymology:  Hibiscus: from the ancient Greek word ἱβίσκος (hibískos), which was the name Pedanius Dioscorides (40–90 AD, physician, pharmacologist and botanist) gave to Althaea officinalistiliaceus: Latin – Tilia – resembling Linden tree.

Origin: Native to Malaysia, Indonesia and East Coast to Northern Australia. Naturalized in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Description: Evergreen rounded tree. May reach 9m with widespread canopy. When exposed to salt laden winds growth becomes congested. 

Foliage: Alternate, simple, broadly orbicular with seven prominent veins beneath. Dull green above to bluish white tomentose below.  

Bark: Rough, grey, cork-like bark.      

Flowers: Either solitary or in loose clusters. Flower opens to almost rotate – up to 12cm across. Bright, light yellow with central crimson eye. Colour changes to rusty apricot before falling sporadically.  

Fruit: Calyx and epicalyx persistent, both stellate hairy. Capsules oblong to globose about 2.5 cm long. densely hairy on the outer surface. Seeds surface marked by lines of tubercles.

Growth Requirements: Grows naturally along sub-tropical coast lines, edges of mangroves and Rivers but can also grow in altitudes up to 800m.    

Uses: Coastal gardens, waterlogged soils, wind break, sandy soils, park shade tree, clipped to shrub. More traditional and other uses include sea-craft construction, wood carvings, firewood, rope, bark and roots can be boiled to make tea for fevers. It is also used in Asian countries for Bonsai.

Maintenance: Keep well watered to establish a root system when young. Very little maintenance is required after that except pruning for shape.

Propagation: easily grown from seed or cutting with rapid growth.

Hibiscus tiliaceus trunk


  • Wikipedia.
  • keys.trin.org.au.
  • www.tropical-plants-and-flowers-guide.com.
About Simon 93 Articles

Simon Schubert is a qualified Horticulturist who enjoys gardening and bush-walking. He has a keen interest in science, the natural world and particularly our environment. He would like to share his experiences and knowledge while learning better practices that will hopefully benefit the future for us all. Please join him on some fun adventures while learning about the life of plants and other interesting facts about our world.

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