On Apr 4, 2010, stevesivek from Baytown, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:
Tiliaceum (tiliaceus) is a beautiful bloom and tree but must be grown in warm climates. If you live in or above zone 9b and want the same look & blooms go with Hibiscus hamabo. I have both. By experience I can say there is definitely a difference in the two when it comes to hardiness. Hamabo will easily grow in 9a with no winter damage. Probably in 8b and possibly into 8a. I have no experience with it in those zones but would be interested in its sustainability there.
On Oct 30, 2006, BROforest from Brownsville, TX (Zone 9b) wrote:
Most homeowners and casual viewers are very impressed with the fact that the flowers change color three times all the way from yellow on the tree to dull orange to red on the ground. Though the plant seems to be considered invasive it doesn't seem to be a problem here in Brownsville, TX. They make a nice showy small tree when pruned correctly or almost a windbreak type of tall hedge when left unpruned.
I was however suprised by the speciman in the photos I included from 10/27/06, because the multi-trunk habit was similar to a ficus species like a banyon or bo tree. This tree did appear to develop potentially harmful roots and the trunks made it much less of an attractive speciman tree. I think heavy pruning would be the recommended treatment as the tree ages to keep it single or double trunked. I really like my Hibiscus tiliaceus because it grows in an area to the side of my house in Laguna Vista, TX that at times is razed by strong salty winds from the Gulf and very few plants grow sucessfully there.
The Coastal Cottonwood or Cotton Tree common name for Hibiscus tiliaceus is also called "Tawalpin"
by long-time locals (pre-1823 contact with Europeans)
and is seen as indigenous to the Moreton Bay area, but (clearly) has moved beyond that domain.
The bright, light yellow flower version may well be a pest, exotic tree or weed in Florida, as would be a 'gator here among the tourists who rest by the beaches where this species is common, just inland toward better soil.
The bay is comprised of several islands that form a major part of "The Great Sandy Region" World Heritage Area.
North Stradbroke Island, from where I write, as coordinator of a research and education project to do with local seasonality and indigenous dialect, has many of the yellow flowering Cotton Trees. This is especially so near the bayside access town Dunwich (also called: "Goompi"),where barges come in and large sand-mining operations are locally headquartered.
The salty conditions on both the Brisbane and Pacific Ocean sides of the island, where the trees grow in thick patches, seem not to affect the plant adversely. It has been utilized as most valuable for a long time for spears, twine and other traditional uses.
The name "Tawalpin", one of several spellings, is not at this time available for use on this site (please) but with management from my peers we could offer it up, even though it would be one of hundreds of varied names and/or pronunciations for Hibiscus tilliaceus, given the number of language groups who might also know this tree in Australia and the islands to the North.
It lines the water-side, grows in thick clumps and spreads along at a reasonable rate. One wonders where it first became known. Could it have been brought here hundreds, or even thousands of years ago?
On May 28, 2003, Monocromatico from Rio de Janeiro Brazil (Zone 11) wrote:
Hibiscus tiliaceus comes from Brazilian coastal habitats ("restingas"), and even though they don't get larger than a big shrub there, it seems to be only a limitation when on sandy and salty soils. In rich organic soils it can grow to even 15m high trees, with a wide trunk, and the branches with their large leaves covering with shadow several meters around. It´s a very beatiful tree, uncommon for the Malvaceae family, and with nice, big yellow flowers with a dark red spot in the middle. It keeps blooming for a long time, but the flowers don´t last long, and as soon as the stigmas get dry, it falls on the ground (this may be a nuisance if you have to park you car under those trees, the flowers get kinda sticky after a while).
Oh, and if you´re gonna try it on rich soils, beware because when it grows large, the superficial roots will develop and can also destroy pavements around it
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
Grenoble, Bartow, Florida Big Pine Key, Florida Boca Raton, Florida Cocoa Beach, Florida Kenneth City, Florida Manasota Key, Florida Palm Beach Shores, Florida Brownsville, Texas Houston, Texas Olmos Park, Texas Palmhurst, Texas