Botanic Gardens Trust, Sydney, Australia


Hibiscus insularis

The Australian Botanic Garden, Mount Annan - June

Common name Phillip Island hibiscus
Scientific name Hibiscus insularis Endl.
Family  Malvaceae

Genus: Greek, hibiskos, a name accorded by Greek philosophers to the marshmallow, Althea officianalis. Supposedly this plant was sacred to the Egyptian god Ibis.

Species: Latin, insula, island; pertaining to islands.

Distribution The last remaining wild plants of this species were restricted to two patches on Phillip Island, south of Norfolk Island, by the late 1980s.   
Native habitat -

A large shrub or small tree to 2.5 m high. It has pale yellow flowers with a greenish tinge, which turn mauve on fading.

Flowering/fruiting Will flower for about 10 months of the year providing it's in a frost free environment.

Location in Garden

You can see it in Bed 3 in the Connections Garden and also in the Fruit Loop.


This species, along with the rest of the island's vegetation, was under threat due to grazing by pigs, goats and rabbits. The removal of these feral animals has led to the regeneration of the population with seedlings surviving next to the original plants.

It has tiny, neat leaves and a densely branching form, making it a perfect garden plant. It is evergreen, disease-free and tolerates wind and full sunshine or partial shade. These characteristics make it a good hedging plant. 

This species is listed as Critically Endangered under Australian federal environment legislation. 



Hibiscus insularis

Hibiscus insularis