The Confederate Rose is a member of the Malvaceae family (along with all the common Hibiscus plants, Althea, Cotton plant, Okra, etc). They all have the distinctive large flower.
The Confederate Rose is also known as cotton flower, cotton rosemallow, rose cotton. The botanical name mutabilis means ‘variable’ and probably relates to the most significant feature of this plant: that the flowers change color.
Clips from the Floridata website:
Hibiscus mutabilis is downright conspicuous when in full bloom starting in late summer and on into fall. The flowers 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…. After flowering a round, hairy capsule forms which dries and releases fuzzy seeds, a trait that inspired one of the plants common names, rose cotton as the buds resemble the boll of that famous member of the hibiscus family.
The bush/tree can be pruned after the blooms are gone in the fall. It can be cut back to a few inches off of the ground and it will return in the spring and grow to an 8′ bush by the summer blooming season. Or, it can be minimally trimmed to allow some new growth and, as long as it does not freeze, will grow to a height of 15′. Both methods normally produce a lot of blooms throughout the fall.
We did not prune our tree for the past two years and it is now about 15′ tall and almost that wide. It just started blooming again, this week.
Here is a gallery of pictures of the present blooms
All of these blooms are on the same tree. Also included is a picture of the entire tree.
Here is a gallery of pictures from last year (in late October)
All of these blooms were on the same tree that we have this year.