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Hibiscus tiliaceus can attain a height of up to 8-10 m (26'-32') and can grow just as wide if not pruned. It is a common tree along the coast in its native and naturalised ranges, and in the wild it is found near watercourses, mangrove swamps and estuaries, frequently forming impenetrable thickets and covering very large areas along coastlines. It is therefore particularly suitable for sandy and moist soils, although it will also grow well under drier conditions and in a variety of soils. It can also stand brackish water and is tolerant of salt spray, and therefore it is an excellent species for coastal areas. The trees are very ornamental, with large heart-shaped leaves and a dense foliage. The leaves are usually dark green, but there are selections available with variegated or purplish foliage. The hibiscus-like flowers are bright yellow with a crimson centre, and usually point down on the tree or slightly sideways. They are about 10-15 cm (4"-6") wide when fully-open and usually last a single day only, falling off at the end of the day or the next morning, when lots of day-old flowers can be seen on the ground. Like some other plants in the mallow family, the flowers change colour as they age, turning dull orange or reddish by the time they fall. In winter there may be few or no flowers in mild-tropical or subtropical climates, but the flowers may remain on the tree for more than a single day, creating an interesting effect as both yellow and reddish flowers can be seen on the trees at the same time.
Spotted on Jan 30, 2012
Submitted on Apr 6, 2012