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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids II
Ordo: Malvales

Familia: Malvaceae
Subfamilia: Malvoideae
Tribus: Hibisceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Sectio: H. sect. Venusti
Species: Hibiscus mutabilis

Hibiscus mutabilis L. (1753)

Abelmoschus mutabilis (L.) Wall. ex Hassk., Cat. Hort. Bot. Bogor. (Hasskarl) 198 (1844).
Ketmia mutabilis Moench, Methodus 617 (1794).

Abelmoschus venustus Walp., Repert. Bot. Syst. 1: 309 (1842).
?Hibiscus aestuans Wall., Numer. List n. 1908 E., nom. inval.
Hibiscus aestuans Rottler ex Masters in Hook., Fl. Brit. India 1: 845 (1849).
Hibiscus immutabilis Dehnh. ex Walp. Rep. 1: 307 (1836).
Hibiscus malvarosa Noronha, Verh. Batav. Genootsch. Kunst. 5(Art. 4): 17 (1790).
Hibiscus mutabilis f. spontanea Makino, Jissai Engei 26: 675 (1940).
Hibiscus mutabilis f. versicolor Makino, Jissai-Engei 26: 676 (1940), nom. inval.
Hibiscus sinensis Mill., Gard. Dict., ed. 8. n. 2 (1768).


'eFloras 2008. Hibiscus mutabilis in Flora of China. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Flora of Japan. Japanese Society for Plant Systematist. Accessed: 2015 Febr 14.

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Reference page.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Hibiscus mutabilis in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
বাংলা: স্থলপদ্ম
English: Confederate rose or cotton rosemallow
suomi: Villahibiskus
日本語: フヨウ (芙蓉)
한국어: 부용
português: Rosa-louca
svenska: Bomullshibiskus
ไทย: พุดตาน
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: تۈگمىگۈل
Tiếng Việt: Phù dung
中文: 木芙蓉

Hibiscus mutabilis, also known as the Confederate rose, Dixie rosemallow, cotton rose or cotton rosemallow, is a plant long cultivated for its showy flowers. Originally native to southern China and Taiwan,[1] it is now found on all continents except Antarctica.

Confederate roses tend to be shrubby or treelike in zones 9 and 10, though they behave more like perennials further north. Flowers can be double or single and are 4–6 in (10–15 cm) in diameter; they open white or pink, and change to deep red by evening. The 'Rubra' variety has red flowers. Single blooming flowers are generally cup-shaped. Bloom season usually lasts from summer through fall. Propagation by cuttings root easiest in early spring, but cuttings can be taken at almost any time. When it does not freeze, the Confederate rose can reach heights of 12–15 ft (3.7–4.6 m) with a woody trunk; however, a much bushier plant 5–6 ft (1.5–1.8 m) high is more typical and provides more flowering. These plants have a very fast growth rate. The Confederate rose was at one time very common in the area of the Confederate States of America, which is how its common name was derived. It grows well in full sun or partial shade, and prefers rich, well-drained soil.[2]

The flowers are attractive to pollinators, including the specialized bee Ptilothrix bombiformis.[3]
Changing colors of the flower during a day

In cultivation in the UK, Hibiscus mutabilis has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[4]
Floral color change

Floral color change occurs in H. mutabilis when flowers are white in the morning, turning pink during noon and red in the evening of the same day. Under laboratory conditions, the color change of the petals was slower than that of flowers under outdoor conditions.[5] Temperature may be an important factor affecting the rate of colour change as white flowers kept in the refrigerator remain white until they are taken out to warm, whereupon they slowly turn pink.[6]

The red flowers remain on plants for several days before they abort.[5] Weight of a single detached flower was 15.6 g (0.55 oz) when white, 12.7 g (0.45 oz) when pink and 11.0 g (0.39 oz) when red. Anthocyanin content of red flowers was three times that of pink flowers and eight times that of white flowers. There was a significant increase in phenolic content with color change. Overall ranking of antioxidant properties of H. mutabilis flowers was red > pink > white.

Subramanian and Nair postulated that anthocyanins in pink and red flowers of H. mutabilis are synthesized independently since there is no reduction in phenolic content.[7] However, Lowry suggested that anthocyanins are formed through direct conversion from flavonols as they have structural similarities.[8]

"Hibiscus mutabilis L. | Plants of the World Online | Kew Science". Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
William C. Welch: "Hardy Hibiscus", Texas A&M University
"Hibiscus mutabilis (Confederate Rose, Cotton Rose) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox". Retrieved 2021-02-26.
"Hibiscus mutabilis". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 23 August 2020.
Wong, S.K.; Lim, Y.Y.; Chan, E.W.C. (2009). "Antioxidant properties of Hibiscus: species variation, altitudinal change, coastal influence and floral colour change" (PDF). Journal of Tropical Forest Science. 21 (4): 307–315. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2010-02-09.
Ng, F.S.P. (2006). Tropical Horticulture and Gardening. Kuala Lumpur: Clearwater Publications. ISBN 983-42954-0-5.
Subramanian, S.S.; Nair, A.G.R. (1970). "A note on the colour change of the flowers of Hibiscus mutabilis". Current Science. 39 (14): 323–324.
Lowry, J.B. (1976). "Floral anthocyanins of some Malesian Hibiscus species". Phytochemistry. 15 (9): 1395–1396. doi:10.1016/s0031-9422(00)97124-3.

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