Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis)


Hibiscus mutabilis L. 1753, commonly called Confederate Rose or Cotton Rosemallow is a tropical, flowering shrub, native to South China and Taiwan.

The Confederate Rose belongs to the Mallow family (Malvaceae), which contains about 200 genera with about 2300 species. One of the largest Malvaceae genera is the Hibiscus genus with about 300 species. Hibiscus mutabilis, which means the changeable Hibiscus, change the color of its flowers during the daytime. Confederate Rose buds open in a pure white in early morning, by midday flowers start to turn to a light pink (see 1. picture below), whilst at the end of the day flowers are dark pink to red (see the 2. picture below) and start to wither. Flowers can be double or single and get a size of about 15 cm in diameter. Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) shrubs or small trees reach heights up to about 5 meters and are best cultivated in full sun to partial shade.

The plant tolerates freezing temperatures as low
as about -5 °C. Unfortunately the Confederate Rose is as prone to pest insects, like mealybugs, white aphids, spider mites, greenflies and whiteflies, as many other members of the Malvaceae family. As Hibiscus mutabilis was very popular during the Confederate States of America (1861 - 1865), it got the common name Confederate Rose. Leaves and flowers are used in natural medicine as a treatment for swellings and skin infections.

Flower Photograpy © Orchids
Image: Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) double flower at midday,

Flower Photograpy © Orchids
Image: Confederate Rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) double flower at late afternoon

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