Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: 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

12 members have or want this plant for trade.


6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

15-18 in. (38-45 cm)

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:
Scarlet (Dark Red)
Pale Yellow

Bloom Time:
Blooms all year


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:

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Monocromatico
Thumbnail #1 of Talipariti tiliaceum by Monocromatico

By Chamma
Thumbnail #2 of Talipariti tiliaceum by Chamma

By spaceman_spiff
Thumbnail #3 of Talipariti tiliaceum by spaceman_spiff

By kennedyh
Thumbnail #4 of Talipariti tiliaceum by kennedyh

By Chamma
Thumbnail #5 of Talipariti tiliaceum by Chamma

By salvia_lover
Thumbnail #6 of Talipariti tiliaceum by salvia_lover

By spaceman_spiff
Thumbnail #7 of Talipariti tiliaceum by spaceman_spiff

There are a total of 30 photos.
Click here to view them all!


4 positives
1 neutral
1 negative

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive Chinandega81 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 and weren't harmed by temps that although below freezing, weren't as cold as what I got.

They flower on year two, that's a nice surprise. They have huge deep green foliage, which is a nice treat for the desert dwellers yearning that. I highly recommend for the warmer spots in this region.

Neutral stevesivek 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 BROforest 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.

Positive baz 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 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?

Negative MotherNature4 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 Monocromatico 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 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:

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

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America