Hibiscus denudatus (common names: Paleface,
Rock Hibiscus) is a perennial shrub of the mallow family, Malvaceae. It
is in the rosemallow genus, Hibiscus.
It is found in the southwest of North America in the southwestern
United States and northern Mexico in the states of extreme southeast
California, southern Nevada, southern Arizona and New Mexico, southwest
Texas, Baja California-north, Sonora, Chihuahua, and Coahuila. It can be
found in the Colorado and Sonoran Deserts, and in the east to the
In California, Rock Hibiscus is exclusive to the southeast, the
Colorado Desert-(northwestern Sonoran Desert) and neighboring Baja
California state, Mexico.
The form of the plant is somewhat straggly vertical branches reaching
2–4 feet (1.5 m), and not always a wide, full shrub. The leaves are
small to 1½ in and about the same in width, and finely toothed. The
leaves are a medium yellow green, hairy-surfaced, and elliptical to
ovoid in shape.
The flower is a pale white, hence the name paleface, or pale light
lavender to light pink. The petals can be rice paper thin, and on some
plants nearly translucent; the flower petals are broad and roundish,
also overlapping; the entire flower is a broad cup shape. One vertical
branch will often have a terminal flower, and axial flowers along the
branch. The flowers will bloom depending on seasonal temperatures
starting in January to the end of late summer/fall in October. |
The plant can be found in desert washes, also rocky slopes, and mesas,
up to 2,000 feet (610 m) elevation. In the southwest Arizona deserts in
the western Sonoran Desert, it can be found in the desert washes with
desert lavender which has a similar color and shaped leaf; the desert
lavender often blooms before Rock Hibiscus.