Cotton tree, cottonwood
Hibiscus tilliaceus, Fam. Malvaceae
A small to medium spreading tree of the seashore and saline estuaries. It often has low interlaced branches which form a barrier to the beach. A useful tree for beach-side plantings as it is salt spray tolerant and may be pruned to shape. The close-grained timber is easily worked and takes a good polish.
|Form or habit:||Small tree, Med tree|
Long-stalked, broadly heart-shaped, about 16 x 18cm, palmately veined, dark green above and greyish beneath due to a covering of light-coloured star-hairs.
|Flower description:||Large yellow, five petalled flowers with maroon centers, usually turn reddish before falling.|
|Fruit description:||Brown, hairy, five valved rosella-like capsules, about 2cm in diameter, enclosed within persistent calyx lobes and containing numerous small dark, wedge shaped seeds.|
|Habitat:||Beach scrub, beach strand, coastal dune, littoral rainforest, mangroves, saltmarsh, wetland.|
|Distribution||Northern Territory, Queensland and New South Wales south to Port Macquarie. Also South East Asia.|
|Food source for:||Main food plant of the sap sucking hibiscus harlequin bug.|
|Toxicity:||No toxicity known|
|Information sources:||Melzer R. & Plumb J. (2007) Plants of Capricornia., Society for Growing Australian Plants. Mackay Branch. (1989). One hundred and one trees of Mackay.|