Hibiscus mutabilis (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Hibiscus mutabilis L.

Protologue: Sp. pl. 2: 694 (1753).

Vernacular names

  • Changeable rose, confederate rose (En). Rose changeante (Fr)
  • Indonesia: waru landak (Javanese), saya ngali-ngali (Ternate)
  • Malaysia: botan, mati laki mati bini, bunga waktu besar
  • Philippines: amapola, mapula (Tagalog)
  • Thailand: phuttaan (central), dok saamsee, saam phiu (northern)
  • Vietnam: phù dung, mộc liên.


H. mutabilis grows wild and is also cultivated in China. It is now widely cultivated in the tropics, including South-East Asia.


The leaves and flowers of H. mutabilis are considered emollient and cooling, and are used on swellings and cutaneous infections. In decoction, they are a remedy for pulmonary complaints.


An erect, robust shrub to small tree, 1.5-4 m tall, densely covered with greyish, stellate hairs; leaves orbicular to broadly ovate, 10-25 cm long, base cordate, apex pointed, mostly 5-lobed, lobes triangular, coarsely serrate-dentate, pubescent; bracteoles of epicalyx 7-10, linear, shorter than the calyx tube, calyx 3-4 cm long, with 5 oblong-ovate lobes, connate below, corolla large, 10-12 cm in diameter, petals 5-7 cm long, single or double, corolla white in the morning, with or without a purple centre, colouring red in the afternoon, stigma yellow or white; seed ovoid, pubescent, hairs 2-4 mm long. The single flowered pink type of H. mutabilis is wild in China; the double-flowered type is more common in cultivation.

Selected sources

74, 134,

  • Burkill, I.H., 1966. A dictionary of the economic products of the Malay Peninsula. Revised reprint. 2 volumes. Ministry of Agriculture and Co-operatives, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Vol. 1 (A-H) pp. 1-1240, Vol. 2 (I-Z) pp. 1241-2444.

215, 407, 786, 788, 810, 1127.


Undang A. Dasuki