Beach Hibiscus, Sea Hibiscus, Cottontree, Mahoe
Talipariti tiliaceum

Family: Malvaceae (mal-VAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Talipariti (tah-lip-uh-RYE-tee) (Info)
Species: tiliaceum (til-ee-AH-see-um) (Info)
Synonym:Hibiscus tiliaceus

Category:

Shrubs

Trees

Height:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

Spacing:

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Pink

Scarlet (Dark Red)

Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:

Blooms all year

Foliage:

Evergreen

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

Propagation Methods:

From seed; direct sow after last frost

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

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

Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Regional

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

Grenoble,

Calexico, California

Bartow, Florida

Big Pine Key, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Englewood, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Honolulu, Hawaii

Brownsville, Texas

Houston, Texas

Mission, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:

4
positives
1
neutral
1
negative
RatingContent
Positive

On Jul 14, 2013, Chinandega81 from Mexicali
Mexico wrote:

This tree is all the rage in the lower desert Southwest (Yuma, AZ and Imperial County, CA). It could probably be grown anywhere in the Sonoran Desert (Coachella Valley, Bullhead City, Phoenix) if given protection in winter.

They grow extremely fast the first year, from 1 foot all the way to about 6 feet. Then they spend the second and third year catching up, growing more lateral and allowing the branches to thicken.

They can take full sun, salty soil, flooding, droungt (once established), wind and intense heat.

Last winter it got into the upper 20s in my yard and it burned them back, I lost about half of the tree in hegiht, but it came back in the Spring. Other trees in more protected areas adjacent to block walls or cement didn't skip a beat an... read more

Neutral

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.

Positive

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 s... read more

Positive

On Mar 17, 2004, baz wrote:

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 ... read more

Negative

On Jun 15, 2003, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Hibiscus tiliaceus appears on the Category I list of the Florida Exotic Pest Plants Council. It is an exotic that self propagates in lower central and southern Florida.

The leaves are heart shaped with 9 - 11 main veins with the lower surfaces covered with white hairs.

Positive

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. Its 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 dont 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 youre gonna try it on rich soil... read more