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Hibiscus diversifolius - Swamp Hibiscus

Hibiscus diversifolius (Swamp Hibiscus) is a Shrub which grows to a height of 1m and a width of 0.6m . It has a hardness rating of 10and is quite resiliant to frost.
The flowers from this plant are hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and they are pollinated by Insects

Soil Information

Swamp Hibiscus will grow in light (sandy),medium (loamy),hard (clay) soil. It is / is important for the soil to be well drained.
The soil prefers the following PH / acid levels :
- pH of less than 6, Acidic soils
- pH between 6 and 8, Neutral soils
- pH greater than 8, Basic soils
Swamp Hibiscus prefers moist soils

Ideal Planting Locations

Swamp Hibiscus should not be planted in shady areas.

Mainly by the coast, especially near rainforests, occasionally on disturbed ground in Australia in New South Wales and Queensland[152].

Planting places suited to this plant described below.

Cultivation Details

Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun[200]. A frost-tender shrub, it can be grown as an annual in temperate climates where it can flower and set seed in its first year of growth[200, K]. Plants can also be overwintered in a cold greenhouse if the winter is fairly mild[K]. As the specific name of this plant suggests, the leaves vary widely in shape. The first leaves to be produced are semi-circular in shape, but later leaves are distinctly three-lobed[K]. Plants are self-fertile[K].

Edible Uses*

* See disclaimer
Edible Rating: 2/5
Young leaf buds - they are good either raw or cooked[144, 183]. The young leaves can also be eaten, they are mild and quite mucilaginous, making a pleasant addition to the salad bowl[K]. Flowers - raw or cooked with other foods[177, 183]. They have a very mild flavour and are very mucilaginous[K]. They make a very acceptable and beautiful addition to the salad bowl[K]. Root - it is edible but very fibrousy[144]. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour[144].

Medicinal Uses*

* See disclaimer
Medicinal Rating: 1/5


Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[200]. The seed germinates inside 2 weeks and should be potted up into individual pots as soon as it is large enough to handle. Grow the plants on fast in a fairly rich compost and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. These will be difficult to overwinter unless kept in heated environment[K].

Known Hazards

Some caution should be observed when using this plant because there is a report that it might be used to procure abortions. We have no further details.

Other Uses

None known


no recorded cultivars


The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Huxley. A.
Author: Huxley. A.
Publisher : Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
Date of Publication : 1992

DISCLAIMER: All information published on is for entertainment purposes only. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information contained here with other sources. The information is not intended to replace medical advice offered by doctors or dietary advice by dieticians. will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other damages arising therefrom.