Answer: The Confederate rose, Hibiscus mutabilis, is in the mallow family and is also referred to as cotton rose.
This native of southern China is an absolute showstopper in the fall because of its unusual flowering habits. This 15-foot-tall-by-10-foot wide evergreen shrub typically blends into the landscape, except when it is covered with large showy flowers measuring 3 or 4 inches across. The flowers are either single or double, and are white when they open but change to a pink or red by night. Hence, it got the name mutabilis because it mutates or changes color. Leaves are light green, heart shaped and deeply lobed.
The Confederate rose is easy to maintain. Plant in full sun or high, shifting shade, similar to shade provided by tall pines. Enrich soil with organic matter and supply with adequate moisture making sure soil is well-drained. They can tolerate a freeze with little damage.
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