5 Hibiscus mutabilis

Hibiscus mutabilis.

Cotton Rose Mallow, native to southern China is often seen in gardens.
They are shrubs 2 to 3 m high up to multi-stemmed trees 5 (8) m high.
The stems, particularly smaller ones have dense simple, stellate and glandular hairs.

The alternately arranged leaves are on petioles that can be over 20 cm long.
Petioles have dense stellate and glandular hairs.
The hairy narrow triangular stipules at the base of the petioles are up to around 1 cm long and usually fall early.

The broadly ovate to circular leaf blades have a shallow to deep heart-shaped base.
Blades, usually slightly wider than long are up to around 20 cm across.
They are shallowly to deeply divided into 3, 5 or 7 triangular lobes.
The lobe tips are pointed and the edges have sharp to blunt teeth.
Both surfaces, but particularly the lower have simple, glandular and stellate hairs that are often dense.

Inflorescences are solitary flowers in the axils of the near terminal leaves.
Flowers, on pedicels up to 10 or 15 cm long have stellate and glandular hairs.
The epicalyx has 7 to 12 free involucral bracts that often fall when the flower is mature.
The bracts, up to 2 cm long and 1 to 2 mm wide have stellate and glandular hairs.

The bell shaped calyx is up to 3 cm long but enlarges on the fruit.
The 5 triangular sepals are fused for a third to half their length.
There are stellate and glandular hairs.

The single or double corolla, up to 6 or 8 cm long and wide can be cup or bell-shaped.
The petals are obovate with a short narrow base and almost circular lobe.
Petal edges are often wavy and the outer surface has fine hairs.
Flowers are white when they open then become pink and are red by the end of the day.
There are varieties with only white or red flowers.

The hairless staminal column, up to 3 cm long has 5 teeth at the top.
The anthers are attached down the sides by short fee sections of filaments.
The hairy superior ovary has 5 locules each with numerous ovules.
The white to pink style runs through the staminal column then divides into 5 short branches.
Each branch has a yellow or pink stigma with simple hairs.

The fruit are slightly flattened spherical brown loculicidal capsules up to around 3 cm.
They are covered in hairs and split into 5 sections.
The numerous brownish kidney-shaped seeds are around 2.5 mm long.
One side has no hairs while the other has long pale simple and stellate hairs.