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Hibiscus coulteri (Desert rosemallow)
Anderson, Wynn

Hibiscus coulteri

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

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

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.


From the Image Gallery

34 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Breeding System: Flowers Bisexual
Size Class: 3-6 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


Native Distribution: W. TX to s. AZ & adjacent Mex.
Native Habitat: Rocky slopes; steep, canyon walls

Growing Conditions

Light 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.


Use Wildlife: Deer browse this plant.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: 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 Literature

Reslit 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.
Search More Titles in Research Literature

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2021-02-25
Research By: TWC Staff

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