Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Hibiscus x sydneyi [Bidwill]

Hibiscus splendens Fras. ex Graham x Hibiscus heterophyllus Vent.  Hybrid raised by John Bidwill, presumably in Sydney.  I have found no description but this cross was recently repeated at Camden Park.  It is yet to flower but the leaves are deep green, deeply lobed and palmate in form, quite dissimilar to the adult leaves of both parents, in particular they are free of the greyish pubescence of the seed parent.  

Horticultural & Botanical History

Hibiscus Sydneyi was given to me by Mr. Bidwill.  It is a very fine flowering shrub, the flowers nearly as large as H. splendens and of a pinkish colour.’  William Macarthur to Loddiges’ Nursery, to whom he sent live specimens.  16th April 1846.  [MP a2933-1, p.147]. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.554/1843].  


Hibiscus heterophyllus Vent., the pollen parent, is an Australian species growing in the Sydney region.  It forms a large shrub or small tree and has reddish-white flowers with a purple centre.  [Beadle, FNSW].  It was introduced to Europe in 1803 by Charles Greville and figured in the Botanical Register.  ‘A native of New-South-Wales, where it grows to be a considerable-sized shrub, and is manufactured by the natives into a rude cordage, suited to their purposes. Independent of the handsome bloom, it is curious for the variety in the foliage, where the footstalk sometimes holds an undivided one-nerved leaf, but oftener a palmate one of 2, 3, or 5 lobes, and as many nerves, to be depressed or elevated from a joint at the top of the footstalk.  The flowers are of short duration, and produced singly from the axils of the upper leaves.  The plant was discovered by Colonel Paterson on the banks of the Hawkesbury river; and first cultivated in this country by the late Mr. Charles Greville, in the conservatory of his botanic garden at Paddington, in 1803.’  [BR f.29/1815].

Published Jan 13, 2010 - 10:59 AM | Last updated Jan 13, 2010 - 11:02 AM

Family Malvaceae
Region of origin

Garden origin, Sydney, Australia

Common Name
Name in the Camden Park Record

Hibiscus Sydneyi (splendido–heterophyllus)

Confidence level