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Butterfly Gardening and Habitat Program

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Heartleaf Hibiscus - Hibiscus martianus

Other common names for this plant include Heartleaf Rose mallow, Tulipan del Monte.

While valuable in the butterfly garden due to its heat and drought tolerance, most gardeners will choose heartleaf hibiscus because it has magnificent flowers ranging from two to three inches in diameter. The flowering period is long, from spring through fall in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, but is dependent on rainfall.

Importance as a caterpillar food source: Flowers and fruits of heartleaf hibiscus serve as caterpillar food for the Yojoa Scrub-hairstreak. Eggs of this caterpillar are laid individually on the flowers. Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak and Gray Hairstreak caterpillars also use this plant as a food source.

Importance as a butterfly nectar source: Heartleaf hibiscus is an excellent long blooming nectar source.

The current rating for heartleaf hibiscus is:

Caterpillar Rating

If you have experience growing heartleaf hibiscus, we would like your opinion. Let us know how it performed in your butterfly garden. Your comments will help other butterfly gardeners in your region to create better butterfly gardens:


Heartleaf Hibiscus Cultural Requirements
USDA Hardiness Zone
Zone 8
Bloom Period
Spring through fall
Bloom Color
Scarlet red
Plant Height
1 to 3 feet
Plant Spread
1 to 3 feet
Light Exposure
Sun to partial sun
Soil Moisture
Well drained
Animal/Disease Problems






Large Orange Sulphur on Heartleaf Hibiscus
Heart Seeded Vine


Native Range for Heartleaf Hibiscus(Hibiscus martianus)



Orange-barred Sulfur on Heartleaf Hibiscus



©2008 North American Butterfly Association