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Hibiscus geranioides

Jeff Howes

Hibiscus - is the Greek word for Mallow, a common name often used with this genus.

Common name: Geranium leaf hibiscus.

Hibiscus is a widespread genus of the family Malvaceae, consisting of 250 species, growing in regions ranging from tropical to temperate. Of these species, 35 are native to Australia and are largely restricted to the east coast.

Hibiscus geranioides is a fairly recent addition to my garden, in the northern Sydney suburb of Westleigh and it grows to about 80 cm high and not quite as wide. As they grow naturally in the sub tropical areas north of Broome, Western Australia and around the coast to Queensland, they respond very well to summer rainfall. With the dry summers Sydney experienced in 2005/2006 they flowered well, however I did not appreciate how well they could flower until the heavy rains of Nov/Dec 2007 making conditions more tropical and similar to their natural location.

Hibiscus geranioides
Hibiscus geranioides: Photo: Jeff Howes

The plants need plenty of sun to open up the flower and to look their best. They do self seed, but not enough to be a problem. In my garden, they produce just enough seedlings for me to pot up and give away to friends. They really are a decorative plant and well worth growing in your garden.

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Australian Plants online - 2008
Association of Societies for Growing Australian Plants