The Splendid Hibiscus
(Hibiscus splendens) is a species of flowering shrub or tree in the
mallow family, Malvaceae. Other common names include Hollyhock Tree
and Pink Cottonwood. H. splendens is a fairly common plant native to
eastern Australia. The range of natural distribution is from
Wollongong (35° S) in the state of New South Wales to Blackdown
Tableland National Park (23° S) in central east Queensland. The
habitat is on clearings or disturbances around the margins of the
A bush or small tree up to 6 metres tall and 7 cm in trunk
diameter. The cylindrical trunk is covered in sharp prickles, as is
most of the plant. Leaves are 7 to 20 cm long. Being toothed, heart
shaped with a fine point at the tip. Leaves are simple or with three
to five lobes, arranged alternatively on the stem. The mid rib and
lateral veins visible on both sides of the leaf.
The spectacular pink coloured flowers are around 7 cm long,
appearing in the months of October to December. The species name "splendens"
refers to the beauty of the flower.
The fruit is an egg shaped capsule, covered in hairs. Five cells
within the capsule contain pyramid shaped dark seeds, 3 to 4 mm
long. Care is required in handling the capsule because of the
irritating hairs. Fruit matures from December to February. Being a
rainforest regeneration plant, germination from seed is easily
achieved, and cuttings strike well.
An attractive garden plant.