Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Native Rosella, Creeping Pink Swamp Hibiscus, Musk Mallow, Ornamental Okra, Ambrette
Abelmoschus moschatus subsp. tuberosus

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Abelmoschus (a-bel-MOS-kus) (Info)
Species: moschatus subsp. tuberosus

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)
18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
Magenta (Pink-Purple)
Bright Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall
Mid Fall
Late Fall/Early Winter

Grown for foliage

Other details:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From herbaceous stem cuttings
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse
From seed; direct sow after last frost

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

Click thumbnail
to view:

By duggiehoo
Thumbnail #1 of Abelmoschus moschatus subsp. tuberosus by duggiehoo


No positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Neutral htop On Jan 16, 2008, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have not grown this plant which has no generally accepted common name. Abelmoschus moschatus subsp. tuberosus (tuberosa) is native to Australia, New Guinea and the islands of South East Asia. This prostrate, creeping plant's usual habitat is open woodlands which receive seasonal rains or grasslands being most often found on rocky hillsides. It originate's from an underground tuber to which it dies back in the dry season and from which it resprouts when rains return.

Abelmoschus moschatus subsp. tuberosus alternate, somewhat hairy, rough, 4-10cm x 4-8.5cm leaves have serrated edgesv. The plant varies in leaf shape with the lower (basal) leaves being more ovate or heart-shaped, angular or 3-7-palmately lobed or parted. The upper leaves are usually lobed or parted. The stems have hairs. The bloom color is also variable. They may be white, cream or yellow with a red or maroon centre or pink, watermelon pink to red with a darkered center. On sunny days, each flower stays fresh until mid-day and then starts to lose color after about 2 hours; however, new blooms appear each day. The flowers are followed by papery capsules whch hold black seeds.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Deland, Florida
Mcdonough, Georgia

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