Hibiscus mutabilis (Cotton Rosemallow)

Pink flower and buds of Hibiscus mutabilis

Hibiscus mutabilis is a very striking mallow that produces huge flowers, similar in form to a double rose or peony. As ‘mutabilis’ (changeable) suggests, the flowers mature from white through pink to red, displaying flowers of all three colours on the same shrub. Well, that’s what Wikipedia says.

We found this plant growing in a cemetery in South Mississippi. In stature, it was as magnificent as its flowers: considerably taller than me, and nearly as wide as it was tall. It seemed to be fending for itself in the full sun with no ill effects other than slightly droopy leaves.

Call me a nitpicker, but this is a ‘plain’ pink double form. It’s the same colour in the bud as in the open flower, as shown here – just one shade of pink. An immutable mutabilis, we might say. Continue reading “Hibiscus mutabilis (Cotton Rosemallow)”