Hibiscus tiliaceus Malvaceae

Cottonwood, Cotton Tree

Form and Size: A small tree, 6-9m high, with a spreading, rounded crown

Distribution: Qld, NSW and NT; from the Gulf of Carpentaria to north-eastern NSW;
on coastal dunes and in near coastal forests and vine forests

Leaves: Broadly egg-shaped to heart-shaped, on stiff stalks to 14cm long with a pair of leaf- like appendages (stipules) at the base of the stalk, dark green above, paler and with star-like hairs beneath, 5-20cm x 4.5-18cm; new growth pale green with a few star-like hairs

Flowers: Lemon yellow with a dark red to purple centre, 5 petals, 8-10cm diameter; borne singly in the upper axils

Flowering Period: December to May

Fruit: Capsules, globular, hairy, 2-2.5cm x 1.5-1.8cm, splitting when ripe; seeds smooth

Distinguishing Features: Differs from Thespesia populneoides by the seed capsules, which split to disperse the seed

Cultivation/Notes: Propagate from seed or cuttings. A fast growing plant which is an excellent shade or screen tree. Will do well in most soils if supplementary water is available.