Monday, January 10, 2011

Variegated Cottontree, Hibiscus tilaceous Albo-Variegatus

Variegated Cottontree, Hibiscus tilaceus Albo-variegatus
under-planted with Iris japonica
It was a steamy tropical shirts off kinda day with more rain but fortunately not the deluge disastrous kind which is happening up north. This South Pacific beach tree sums up the weather when Mother Nature is in more of a party mood. It has stunning leaves which vary from white to hot pink. I have not grown this form but I would love to propagate it.The dark purple leafed species (atropurpurea) is more commonly seen here and its yellow flowers stand out well against the foliage. Like many Hibiscus, this one takes pruning into more formal or hedge shapes and is tolerant of salt laden winds and cooler growing conditions.
The plant taxonomists have been busy reclassifying some of the Hibiscus Family, Malvaceae. This one now goes by the name of Talipariti tiliaceum. The common name of Cotton tree is given because the fibre from the inner bark is used to make ropes or tapa cloth in Polynesia.
2017 update: elusive... but I have a couple of the purple leafed species in stock.

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