Hibiscus coulteri Harv. ex A. Gray
Desert rosemallow, Desert rose-mallow, Coulter hibiscus
Malvaceae (Mallow Family)
Synonym(s): Hibiscus coulteri var. brevipedunculatus
USDA Symbol: HICO
Desert rose-mallow or Coulter hibiscus is a handsome ornamental, grown for its showy flowers. Straggling to a width of 2 ft., the slender, woody, flowering stems rise to a height of 5 ft. Large, yellow, cup-shaped flowers, sometimes tinged with red or purple at the base, are borne atop the stems. A shrubby plant with rough hairs, undivided lower leaves, divided upper leaves, and large, cup-shaped, whitish to yellow flowers, often tinged with red.
A humble relative of the brilliant tropical Hibiscus plants, members of a genus that contains almost 300 species.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Class: 3-6 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AZ , NM , TX
Native Distribution: W. TX to s. AZ & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Rocky slopes; steep, canyon walls
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Drought tolerant. This plant should be cut back nearly to the base each winter to encourage a bushier habit and more blooms. Coulter hibiscus flowers during the hottest part of the season when other plants are not showy. It is short-lived, but reseeds freely.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Deer browse this plant.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Will germinate from fresh, untreated seed planted in spring after last frost. Very easily grown from softwood cuttings taken from summer to fall.
Seed Collection: Gather seeds as soon as capsules begin to dry. Air dry and separate seeds from capsules. Fumigate and store in ventilated containers in cool, dry place.
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
Research LiteratureReslit 778 - Consequences of hydrochory in Hibiscus (2006) H. Kudoh, R. Shimamura, K. Takayama and D. F. Whig...
Reslit 1453 - Effect of plant growth retardants on stem elongation of hibiscus species (2003) R. M. Warner and J. E. Erwin
Reslit 1454 - Effect of photoperiod and daily light integral on flowering of five Hibiscus species (2003) R. M. Warner and J. E. Erwin
Reslit 2101 - Effects of El-500 on Height and Lateral Shoot Development of Hibiscus coccineus Walt (1984) J. Fielek
Reslit 2694 - Our hardy Hibiscus species as ornamentals (1970) H. F. Winters
This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Hibiscus coulteri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hibiscus coulteri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hibiscus coulteri
MetadataRecord Modified: 2015-10-05
Research By: TWC Staff