Flowers large, showy, up to 120 mm in diameter, yellow with dark maroon or blackish centre, deepen to orange or apricot as they mature, flowers fading after 1 day and turn orange-red before they are shed. Flowers have five free petals 60 –70 x 40–60 mm, obovate, twisted. the stamens many, united into a distinctive tube up to 25 mm long around the style.Growth rate of the plant is fast.
It grows to a height of 3–6 m. Stems long and flexible. Young branches, buds and flowers densely covered with short soft hairs. Bark pale greyish brown, smooth or with lenticels (small corky dots on young stems allowing gas exchange between plant and environment), becoming rough with age.
Distribution and habitat
H. tiliaceus occurs along the coast from the Eastern Cape to Zululand and extends into the tropics where it is widespread along the sea shore on margins of watercourses or in tidal zone thickets. It fringes estuaries and coastal areas along rivers and lagoons.
Uses and cultural aspects
The stems and branches are long and flexuous and are used as living fence posts and fish kraals. The fibre from the bark makes excellent string and rope and is used as such in hut building. This species h as also been used as a street tree in Durban.