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Hibiscus aculeatus (Comfortroot)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Hibiscus aculeatus

Hibiscus aculeatus Walter

Comfortroot, Big Thicket Hibiscus, Pineland Hibiscus

Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Synonym(s): Hibiscus scaber


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Valued for its attractive flowers, this small-statured mallow blooms in summer and fall. Its flowers are cream colored with a dark red center, the petals appearing pleated with scalloped edges. In moist garden soil, it can live up to 6 years and attain a height of up to 6 bushy feet, though 3 feet is more common.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Flower: Flowers 2 to 4 inches
Fruit: Tan 1 inch

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Red
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: A creamy yellowish white with deep, dark red center


USA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TX
Native Distribution: North Carolina to east Texas and Arkansas, mostly in coastal areas and along rivers
Native Habitat: Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannas, Woodland edges and openings

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Cold Tolerant: yes
Heat Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Sandy, Acid-based
Conditions Comments: Tolerates winter flooding


Use Ornamental: Perennial garden, Showy, Blooms ornamental
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Propagation Material: Seeds
Maintenance: Cut to the ground after frost

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS


Bibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Research Literature

Reslit 2691 - Gastroprotective and antioxidant activities of the roots of Hibiscus aculeatus Roxb in rats (2008) J. A. J. Sunilson, R. Varatharajan, P. Jayaraj, T....

This information was provided by the Florida WIldflower Foundation.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

USDA: Find Hibiscus aculeatus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Hibiscus aculeatus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Hibiscus aculeatus


Record Modified: 2023-02-14
Research By: TWC Staff

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