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Hibiscus phoeniceus
Hibiscus phoeniceus | BraziliaHibiscus phoeniceusn Rosemallow

This petite Hibiscus is found throughout the Carribbean, Central America, and northern South America. It can be found growing on plains, hillside and thickets at lower elevations in the drier parts of Puerto Rico and the West Indies. Small red, pink or white flowers are less than 1.5" in diameter.

Reference: Proposal to reject the name Hibiscus brasiliensis (Malvaceae). The names Hibiscus brasiliensis L. (1763) and H. phoeniceus Jacq. (1776) have long been associated with the same species, widely distributed in the Neotropics. This entity has been called either H. brasiliensis, with Hibiscus phoeniceus in synonymy, or (more commonly) Hibiscus phoeniceus, with Hibiscus brasiliensis rejected as a “nomen dubium” or otherwise excluded. Turns out there is reason aplenty for the confusion: whereas the Linnaean protologue of H. brasiliensis questioningly cited a Plumier plate unequivocally identifiable as the sp. in question, the accompanying description is strongly discordant; moreover, Linnaeus later dropped the plate citation. The present authors have found no specimen in Linnaeus’s herbaria that “corresponds to the description or that can be associated with the name,” leaving the Plumier plate as the only original material available for lectotypification. But rather than “perpetuate the confusion and misapplication that has been engendered” by the prior use of the name H. brasiliensis, the intended application of which “has never been satisfactorily ascertained,” the authors eschew lectotypification and seek to avoid what they see as “a disadvantageous nomenclatural change” by means of this proposal. For members of the Committee, this one may be a tough call; but we are biased here, since Hibiscus phoeniceus is the name used for this species in the soon-to-be-published Manual Malvaceae treatment (by Fryxell).

Fryxell, P.A. & F.A. Berazain. 2007.