Hibiscus furcellatus is a large, coarse, shrubby perennial or shrub that bears ornamental, large, dark pink flowers pollinated by hummingbirds and bees. It is remarkable for its wide natural range and occurs from Florida, in the southeastern United States, all the way south to Paraguay and Argentina. It also occurs in the Greater Antilles and, by way of long distance dispersal from Central or South America, it is also native to Hawaii.
In Florida, the petals rarely spread very widely, thus accounting for the common name sleepy hibiscus since the flowers never fully "wake up." Occasionally, the petals will fully spread open but usually only for a short time and then only very early in the morning. Hibiscus furcellatus is easily cultivated from seeds and readily flowers during its first year. Its cultivation is undemanding and it grows equally well in moist or dry soils in light shade to full sun. Although wild plants are clearly perennial shrubs, plants cultivated in my garden have always behaved as annuals and must be grown from seed each year.
Image and text © 2012 Rufino Osorio