Botanical name: Hibiscus mutabilis Family: Malvaceae (mallow family)
Native to China, Cotton Rose is a large shrub or small multistemmed tree that grows to 15 ft high with about a 10 ft spread. Dropping its leaves in winter the shrub's slender stems seem to disappear among neighboring plants until midsummer, when it leafs out into a big bushy mass. The large leaves are 5 - 7 in, bright green, hairy on the undersides and deeply lobed. They impart a coarse texture that gives the plant a distinctive eye-catching appeal. Cotton rose is very iimposing when in full bloom starting in late summer and on into fall. The large double or single-flowered blooms that are 3-5 in acroos, open pure white and change color over a three-day period until they are deep pink and then as they die assume a dark "blue-pink" hue. The most notable characteristic of this flowering shrub is that flowers of three distinct colors appear on the bush simultaneously as the blooms color cycle independent of one another. In fact, the species name mutabilis means, changeable. After flowering, a round, hairy capsule forms which dries and releases fuzzy seeds, a trait that inspired one of the plants common names, cotton rose as the buds resemble the boll of that famous member of the hibiscus family.
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The flower labeled Changeable Rose is ...