My Favourite Native Hibiscus

Many people are not aware of the range of native hibiscus species that grow here in Australia, they are often not seen in cultivation or mistaken for exotics. I have a few favourites that I like to incorporate in my gardens and at the moment these are my top three, however everything is subject to change …;)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is P1300443-1024x686.jpg

This beautiful gentle pink flower belongs to Hibiscus ‘Barambah Creek’, I love the pink and grey combination of leaf and flower, the leaves are soft and furry not unlike lambs ears.


Hibiscus ‘Barambah Creek’ grows to 2-3 metres tall with a leggy open habit if not pruned regularly. The specimen seen here is growing in part to full shade and was thriving, however it will also grow in full sun. This is a very fast growing plant and requires a good prune after flowering to promote a compact habit and induce more prolific flowering.


Hibiscus ‘Barambah Creek’ is thought to originate in northern QLD in the drier areas so good drainage is essential.’ Barambah Creek’ makes a useful screen or informal hedge and flowers in Spring and Summer.


My next Hibiscus is a new discovery for me, Hibiscus insularis it is a smaller more compact shrub, dense growing with thick tough bright green leaves. Hibiscus insularis originates from Phillip Island and has been under threat in its natural environment to the point of being declared rare and endangered.


Hibiscus insularis produces large pale yellow flowers that change colour as they age to a wine coloured red. This hibiscus likes a well drained soil in full sun to part shade and will tolerate coastal conditions. It is another quick grower and prunes easily into a thick green hedge.


Hibiscus insularis is a great addition to a mixed garden if I am trying to incorporate native plants with exotics.
And last but by no means least, I have sung the praise of this hibiscus before – Hibiscus tiliaceus Rubra, such a magnificent native plant!


This  is a red leaved form of Hibiscus tiliaceus which grows naturally on the east coast of Australia, they grow into a small to medium tree and make a wonderful screening plant.


Hibiscus tileaseus Rubra are extremely versatile growing in a variety of soils from sand to clay, in full sun to part shade and cope well in strong winds.


I have noticed these being planted as streets trees in the coastal suburb of La Perouse and south coast town of Ulladulla, to shape into a tree they do require pruning of the lower branches to create a clean trunk but I think this only enhances the beautiful foliage.

So there you have it three rather amazing hibiscus species that are accomodating and easy to integrate into most gardens, native or not…..

9 replies on “My Favourite Native Hibiscus”

  1. bev on

    i saw a beautiful very dark red native hibuscus tday where would you find one

  2. Paul Grimshaw on

    I discovered Hibiscus (Barambah Creek) in 1996 while working for the Qld Herbarium on a vegetation mapping project. Barambah Creek Gorge, where it was found, is in the Burnett District of Southern Qld, between the townships of Goomeri and Gayndah. I lodged specimens of the Hibiscus with the Qld Herbarium where it was referred to as Hibiscus sp. (Barambah Creek P.Grimshaw+ PG2484). This is still its recognised scientific name, as it still remains an undescribed taxon without a proper species name. I was the first person to grow it in cultivation and see it flowering at my property in the western suburbs of Brisbane. It found its way into wider cultivation through a member of the SGAP, whom I gave cuttings and a plant to. It has since been propagated and sold relatively widely in the nursery trade.

    • Lyn on

      I have a mature red leaf Hibiscus tiliaceus, northen suburbs of Adelaide. It has many trunks, but recently the leaves of some are dying off and the whole trunk begins to look dead. I have now been watering it more often and fertilised. But it continues to look sick. It hasn’t been pruned as it is quite tall. Any advice would be appreciated as I don’t want to lose it.

  3. Gaye Jones on

    I have had mine for 12 months , double pink flowers , does it require regular watering

  4. Sheryl Elliott on

    I have a relatively new native hibiscus which seems to be doing well with lots of new growth and buds. The buds are disappearing before they get a chance to open. I can’t locate them under the plant so wondering if they are loved by some of our local wildlife. We are situated in Nanango: 2 hours North West of Brisbane.

  5. Julie on

    Hi, we have a Barambah Pink approx 10 maths old. We live in the Wimmera. It’s been hit badly by frosts, should we wait until Spring and prune it severely?

    • Kath Gadd on

      Hi Julie,

      Yes you should wait until the damaging frosts are finished before you prune it, otherwise it might go into shock from the stress of being pruned and damaged by frost at the same time 😬

      Best Wishes,


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.