Monday, April 12, 2021

Sea Hibiscus

 Sea Hibiscus - Talipariti tiliaceum, is most easily recognized by it's large circular leaves, spreading habit and showy flowers that become a deep red at the end of the day. It is a large evergreen shrub or small tree that reaches heights of only 15-20 feet tall. The trunk of the tree is short, crooked or contorted, with a low branching habit and broad crown.

Image Citation: Tony Pernas, USDI National Park Service,

The leaves of the Sea Hibiscus are alternate, simple in shape and almost circular with a heart shaped base. The upper leaf surface is dark lustrous green, the lower a whitish gray. Each leaf blade is 10-30 cm long and 10-30 cm broad and stout. The flowers are Corolla 5-8 long yellow with a red throat early in the day, becoming completely red by the evening hours and dropping during the night hours. The flowers occur year round. The fruit is in the form of a five valved capsule 2 cm broad with numerous black-brown seeds.

Image Citation: Joy Viola, Northeastern University,

The Sea Hibiscus is native to tropical areas of Asia and is now naturalized along hammocks, roadsides and other disturbed sites in Southern Florida. Sea Hibiscus can be grown as an indoor/houseplant in zones outside of the tropical regions however care is considered to be tough due to lack of humidity in indoor areas.

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