I was reminded how much I like this plant when I saw it (and found out its name) at the Barbados Horticultural Society Open Garden on the weekend.  There are quite a few of them in the complex where I live, but no one could tell me what the name was,(although I suspected a hibiscus), so I was pleased when I found out it was called a Mahoe (at least here in Barbados). However the latin name was not available at the time. So of course, I Googled it. Yay for Google.

Although it came up with a number of choices, Hibiscus tiliaceus ‘Variegata’  seems to be what I have been eyeing. Although it is called a Mahoe here in the Caribbean, Google turned up a number of different names, depending on where in the world you live. From Cottonwood or  Cotton Tree in Australia, Parau in Tahiti, Vau in Fiji to Hau in Hawaii. Not surprising it is a salt tolerant shrub, will thrive in any soil, and grows 20-25 feet tall.

It has interesting flowers that start out creamy yellow with a dark red centre and darken to an orange/red colour, before they fall off.

 But it is its leaves that give it that all year colour, heart-shaped and splashed with white,

while the new growth is a soft pinky colour.

Just another of the amazing plants that I am learning about in Barbados…


6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    What a stunning shrub, with the variegation it looks fantastic even when not in flower. Will it be hardy enough for you to grow it back home in Canada?

  2. 3

    I have a NOT variegated one, and am amused that it is one of the few plants my book gives as distribution – worldwide! Mine is decorated with a few ‘faded’ leaves in glowing fiery oranges and reds, always a little autumn.

  3. 5

    wow – it looks like a cross between Rose of Sharon (I know it’s from the hibiscus family) and a painter’s palette. Are the ones in your complex in bloom yet?

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