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Products > Hibiscus pedunculatus
Hibiscus pedunculatus - Pink Mallow
Image of Hibiscus pedunculatus
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Malvaceae (w/Bombacaceae & Sterculeacea)
Origin: South Africa (Africa)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Pink
Bloomtime: Spring/Fall
Height: 3-5 feet
Width: 2-3 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 25-30 F
Hibiscus pedunculatus (Pink Mallow) A relatively fast-growing sparsely branched subshrub (or shrubby perennial) that grows up to 3 to 5 feet tall with a woody base. The slender stems hold 3 lobed toothed leaves that have short stellate (star-shaped) hairs, giving them a slightly rough texture. Through much of the year, but primarily spring to fall, appear the showy 2 inch wide clear pink flowers that that are carried on dainty stalks (peduncles) rising from the leaf axils. The flowers appear trumpet shaped but are actually 5 overlapping petals. As with many mallows, the flower only lasts but one day but are produced in abundance so the is a succession of flowers through the warm months of the year. The flowers are are followed by capsules containing seeds surrounded with cotton-like floss. It does best planted in full sun, but can also tolerate light shade quite well but too deep of shade will prevent flowering. Give a regular to occasional irrigation during summer. It is moderately frost tolerant (some claim to 20 F) and has performed well at our coastal location over winter, but would likely require some shelter from colder temperatures inland. Prune the shrub lightly or harder towards the end of summer to shape and keep from getting straggly. A nice plant for a small informal hedge, specimen plant (in the garden or container), border planting, in the back of the perennial bed - best planted in a group or behind shorter plants to hide sparse foliage at base. It is attractive to bees and butterflies. This plant is a common species found along forest margins in the Northern Province, Mpumalanga (Eastern Transvaal), KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape of South Africa. This plant was officially named by Carl von Linnaeus, "the Father of Taxonomy" in 1781. The name Hibiscus comes from the Greek 'hibiskos' which was used for marsh mallow and was possibly derived from the ibis, a stork that is noted as feeding on some species of mallow. The specific epithet means 'with a peduncle' in reference to the long stalk of the inflorescence that is technically called a peduncle. This plant also is commonly called Forest Pink Hibiscus, Wild Hibiscus and Pienk hibiscus in Afrikaans. There has long been name confusion between this plant and the very different white flowering Mexican mallow,Pavonia candida, which we also grow. We thank Santa Barbara's own senior horticulturalist John Bleck for introducing us to the very nice plant and for providing us with our initial stock plant. 

This information about Hibiscus pedunculatus displayed on this web page is based on research we have conducted in our horticultural library and from reliable online resources. We also will relate observations we have made about it as it grows in our nursery gardens and other gardens visited, as well how our crops have performed in containers in the nursery field. Where appropriate, we will also incorporate comments that we receive from others and we welcome hearing from anyone with additional information, particularly if they can share cultural information that would aid others in growing this plant.