Norfolk Island hibiscus Malvaceae Lagunaria
patersonii (Andrews) G. Don [excluded] symbol: LAPA16
Leaf: Alternate, simple, evergreen, ovate, shiny olive-green above, pale pubescent below, entire margins.
Flower: Very showy, to 3 inches across, with 5 large dark pink petals that fade to nearly white; appearing summer to fall.
Fruit: A fuzzy brown capsule that splits open along 4 seams to reveal bright red seeds, to 1 1/2 inch long; fine hairs surrounding the seeds can be an itchy irritant, hence the common name cow-itch tree.
Twig: Green and somewhat ridged, pale pubescent.
Bark: Initially smooth and gray-brown, developing warty ridges.
Form: A small tree to 50 feet tall.
Additional Range Information: Lagunaria patersonii is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654