PlantFiles is getting a new look! Just in time for spring, we're rolling out a new look for the best online plants database. It will also work with your smart phones and mobile devices, so now you can take it with you on garden center visits or botanical garden tours. Questions or comments? Please post them here.

Native White Rosemallow
Hibiscus arnottianus

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hibiscus (hi-BIS-kus) (Info)
Species: arnottianus (ar-not-ee-AH-nus) (Info)
» View all varieties of Hibiscus


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

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:

Full Sun

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly






Other details:

Flowers are fragrant

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

From woody stem cuttings

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

By grafting

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


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

Camarillo, California

Palm Springs, California

San Diego, California (2 reports)

Hana, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

Kurtistown, Hawaii

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 27, 2015, debylutz from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I bought a start of this hibiscus from a mail-order nursery whose name I no longer remember. In ten years, it has grown to a tree-like 20' tall and wide. From early spring to mid-fall, it blooms profusely with beautiful red-stamened white hibiscus flowers. Hummingbirds love it. It tolerates drought, has few pests (maybe aphids), but does not like frost. Almost perfect, if a bit large, for my tropicalesque coastal San Diego garden.


On Oct 18, 2012, harryharry from Athens
Greece (Zone 9b) wrote:

Growing it for the first year. A very beautiful Hibiscus.


On Aug 11, 2002, TruHawaiiNative wrote:

There are many different varieties of Hibiscus arnottianus some varieties have larger blossoms some varieties have smaller foliage. All of them have white fragrant flowers the stamens are red and in some species yellow pollen is visible, if not then pollen is red.
The native Hawaiians called this plant koki'o ke'o ke'o
(co key oh kay oh kay oh). Hibiscus arnottianus sometimes hybridizes with Hibiscus waimeae (koki'o kea)