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Cotton Tree/Cottonwood

(Hibiscus tilliaceus, fam. Malvaceae)

Hibiscus tilliaceus Hibiscus tilliaceus Hibiscus tilliaceus Hibiscus tilliaceus Hibiscus tilliaceus
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: Tree
Leaf:Simple Alternate

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 conspicuous: Conspicuous
Flower colour: Yellow
Flower description:The large yellow, five petalled flowers with maroon centers, usually turn reddish before falling.
Fruit conspicuous: Conspicuous
Fruit colour: Brown
Fruit: Dry
Fruit description: 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/Littoral Rainforest,Mangroves,Wetland,Saltmarsh,Beach strand/ coastal dune
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
Weed status:
Information sources: The Mackay Branch Society for Growing Australian Plants. (1989) One Hundred and One Trees of Mackay.,Melzer R. & Plumb J. (2007) Plants of Capricornia.

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