Hibiscus ovalifolius (Forssk.) Vahl

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Hibiscus ovalifolius

Plant found growing near a seepage area by farm roadside;
Open woodland / grassland;
Chisomo Farms;
feb 2007
Photo: Nick Wightman

Hibiscus ovalifolius

Open Woodland
Dabuyu Farms, Lilayi
Mar 2016
Photo: Nick Wightman

Hibiscus ovalifolius

Open Woodland
Dabuyu Farms, Lilayi
Mar 2016
Photo: Nick Wightman

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Hibiscus calycinus Willd.
Hibiscus calyphyllus Cav.
Hibiscus wildii Suess.
Common names:
Status: Native
Shrub or perennial herb up to 3 m tall, but often a low-growing species in shade. Leaves subcircular in outline, usually 3-5-lobed, up to 12 × 12 cm, stellate-hairy, cordate at the base; margin serrate; petiole up to 9 cm long. Stipules filiform, up to 15 mm long. Flowers solitary, axillary, yellow, usually with a brown or dark red centre. Calyx up to 16 mm; lobes ovate to ovate-lanceolate, joined to nearly halfway. Epicalyx of 5 bracts; bracts up to 18 mm long, joined for 3-4 mm at the base, variable in shape but always broadest near the middle and narrowing suddenly to a long caudate tip. Petals up to 6 × 4.5 cm, obliquely ovate. Capsule ellipsoid.
Type location:
Derivation of specific name: ovalifolius: with oval (elliptic) leaves
Habitat: In various types of forest and in thickets and grassland
Altitude range:
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Tropical and South Africa, Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Cb,N,Lk
Growth form(s): Perennial, shrub over 2 m.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Tuesday 19 July 2016

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 203. as Hibiscus calyphyllus

Drummond, R.B. (1975). A list of trees, shrubs and woody climbers indigenous or naturalised in Rhodesia. Kirkia 10(1) Page 259. As Hibiscus calyphyllus

Exell, A.W. (1961). Malvaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(2) Pages 459 - 460. as H.calyphyllus

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 286. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 60.

Other sources of information about Hibiscus ovalifolius:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Hibiscus ovalifolius
Flora of Caprivi: Hibiscus ovalifolius
Flora of Malawi: Hibiscus ovalifolius
Flora of Mozambique: Hibiscus ovalifolius
Flora of Zimbabwe: Hibiscus ovalifolius
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Hibiscus ovalifolius

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Hibiscus ovalifolius
African Plant Database: Hibiscus ovalifolius
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Hibiscus ovalifolius
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Hibiscus ovalifolius
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Hibiscus ovalifolius
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Hibiscus ovalifolius
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Hibiscus ovalifolius
JSTOR Plant Science: Hibiscus ovalifolius
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Hibiscus ovalifolius
Plants of the World Online: Hibiscus ovalifolius
Tropicos: Hibiscus ovalifolius
Wikipedia: Hibiscus ovalifolius

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Hibiscus ovalifolius.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=139500, retrieved 24 July 2024

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