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Flora of Australia Online

Hibiscus diversifolius Jacq., Collectanea 2: 307 (1789); so named because the leaves are of diverse shape.

T: East Indies; neo: N.J.Jacquin, Icon. Pl. Rar. 3: t. 551 (1792), designated by P.A.Fryxell, Syst. Bot. Monogr. 25: 208 (1988).

Illustrations: E.R.Rotherham et al. , Fl. & Pl. New South Wales & S Queensland 90, t. 271 (1975); B.A.Auld & R.W.Medd, Weeds 184 (1987); A.S.Mitchell & E.H.Norris in G.J.Harden, Fl. New South Wales 1: 329 (1990).

Subshrub, or shrub, to 2 m or more. Stems and petioles with conical prickles 1–2 mm long and dense, fine stellate hairs. Leaves with lamina ovate to orbicular in outline, entire or palmately 3–5-lobed, 3–10 cm long, truncate to subcordate at base, irregularly dentate-serrate, scattered hispid hairy above and more densely so below. Flowers in apparently terminal racemes; pedicels c. 1–2 mm long. Epicalyx segments 7–12, narrowly lanceolate, 8–12 mm long, shortly united at base, hispid. Calyx 7–25 mm long, hispid; lobes narrowly triangular, longer than tube. Petals 4–5 cm long, yellow with a maroon base. Capsule ovoid, 2–3 cm long, densely hispid. 

Norfolk Is., Lord Howe Is. Possibly indigenous on both Islands, or an early introduction on Norfolk Is. (doubt has been cast on its often supposed native status in New Zealand – see R.O.Gardner, Newslett. Auckland Bot. Soc. 210 (2); 42, 1985). Its true area of native distribution is uncertain, but it is widespread today in tropical and subtropical areas. It is now said to be extinct on Lord Howe Is. (A.N.Rodd & J.Pickard, Cunninghamia 1: 279, 1983). 

N.Is.: valley at bottom of Douglas Drive, 1969, O.Evans (K); low area along Douglas Drive, G.Uhe 1186 (K); Mission Pond, R.M.Laing (CHR); s. loc. , 1902, J.H.Maiden & J.L.Boorman (NSW); s. loc. , 1804, F.L.Bauer (K, W). L.H.Is.: track leading from West Bay to Middle Rd, 1920, J.L.Boorman (NSW).


Data derived from Flora of Australia Volume 49 (1994), a product of ABRS, ©Commonwealth of Australia