Herb: Cotton Rose

Latin name: Hibiscus mutabilis

Family: Malvaceae (Mallow Family)

Medicinal use of Cotton Rose:

The leaves are anodyne, antidotal, demulcent, expectorant and refrigerant. With the flowers, they are applied to burns, swellings and other skin problems. The flowers are antiphlogistic, depurative, febrifuge, pulmonary and stimulant. A decoction is used in the treatment of lung ailments.

Description of the plant:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

August to

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets in S. Japan.

Edible parts of Cotton Rose:

Leaves. The leaves contain rutin, but the report does not say what quantity. Root - it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.

Other uses of the herb:

A fibre from the bark is used for making cords and rope.

Propagation of Cotton Rose:

Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing them as annuals, plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and protect them with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well. If hoping to grow them as perennials, then it is better to grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year and to plant them out in early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter them in a warm greenhouse and plant out after the last expected frosts.

Cultivation of the herb:

Thickets in S. Japan.

Known hazards of Hibiscus mutabilis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.