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Key to Hibiscus

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1 Undersurface of leaves moderately to densely hairy, the leaf surface largely or completely hidden with the usually whitish or tawny, tomentose vestiture.
..2 Larger leaf blades of the mid to upper stem ca. 1× as long as wide, more-or-less orbicular in outline, usually 3-7-lobed (some leaves may be unlobed), if 3-lobed, not hastate (not with 2 basal lobes at nearly right angles to the midvein).
....3 Larger leaf blades unlobed or shallowly 3-lobed, < 11 cm long, < 12 cm wide; nectary present on lower surface of midvein near junction of blade and petiole.
......4 Flowers funnel-form, the petals forming a tube basally; petals pink, darker pink to red at base, 5.5-9.5 cm long; [peninsular FL]
......4 Flowers rotate, the petals arrayed nearly flat or shallowly bowl-like; petals bright red, 1.5-3 cm long; [s. TX]
....3 Larger leaf blades 3-7-lobed, > 12 cm long, > 12 cm wide; nectary absent.
........5 Petals dull-red to dull-orange, revolute, tomentose on their outer surface; seeds 3.5-4.0 mm long, glabrous; [s. TX]
........5 Petals white to pink, planar, finely hairy on their outer surface only when exposed in bud; seeds 2.0-3.1 mm long, either papillose or with long hairs; [collectively more widespread].
..........6 Petals 8.5-14 cm long, pale pink to white, with a maroon blaze at the base; seeds verrucose, papillose; perennial herb to 3 m tall; [native, wetlands]
..........6 Petals 4-7.5 cm long, white (fading pink), with a deep pink blaze at the base; seeds with long straight hairs; shrub or tree to 8 m tall; [non-native, planted and sometimes persistent or naturalizing in uplands]
..2 Larger leaf blades of the mid to upper stem longer than wide, 1.2-2.5× as long as wide, unlobed or 3-lobed, if 3-lobed often hastate (with 2 basal lobes at nearly right angles to the midvein).
............ 7 Larger leaf blades 1.2-4.5 cm long; petals 1.5-2.6 (-3.5) cm long, bright red (rarely pink); flowers nodding or pendulous; nectary present at junction of blade and petiole; [s. FL]
............ 7 Larger leaf blades 5-20 cm long; petals 4-12 cm long, white or pink, with a red or maroon blaze at the base; nectary absent; [collectively widespread in our region].
............ ..8 Shrubs to 4 m tall; stems sparingly armed with stout prickles; free portion of stamen filaments 1-1.5 mm long; stigmas wedge-shaped; seeds tomentulose with yellowish to reddish hairs; [se. TX]
............ ..8 Perennial herbs to 2.5 m tall; stems unarmed; free portion of stamen filaments 2-8 mm long; stigmas capitate or disc-shaped; seeds verrucose-papillose; [collectively widespread in our region].
............ ....9 Capsule glabrous and dark brown to black; bracts of involucel eciliate; upper leaf surface glabrous or nearly so
............ ....9 Capsule pubescent (the dark surface largely or completely obscured); bracts of the involucel usually ciliate; upper leaf surface usually moderately densely stellate-pubescent.
............ ......10 Plants mostly > 1 m tall, little branched upwards; upper leaves mostly > 8 cm long; upper leaves densely stellate pubescent below, glabrescent above; [widespread in the western part of our region]
............ ......10 Plants mostly < 1 m tall, with abundant axillary branches in the upper half of the plant; upper leaves mostly < 7 cm long; upper leaves densely stellate pubescent and whitened below, less so above but distinctly gray with stellate pubescence; [coastal prairies of w. LA and se. TX]
1 Undersurface of leaves glabrous, with a few hairs, or scabrous, the hairs or "scabes" (if present) not at all obscuring the green leaf surface.
............ ........11 Larger leaf blades of the mid to upper stem longer than wide, 1.2-7× as long as wide, unlobed or 3-lobed, if 3-lobed then hastate (with 2 basal lobes at nearly right angles to the midvein and broadest at their bases ).
............ ..........12 Larger leaves on a plant hastate (smaller leaves on a plant often unlobed); perennial herbs to 2.5 m tall; [natives of wetland habitats].
............ ............ 13 Calyx hairy, with simple hairs 1+ mm long; capsules hairy; [e. TX]
............ ............ 13 Calyx glabrous; capsules glabrous; [widespread in our region]
............ ..........12 Larger leaves on a plant unlobed, or slightly 3-lobed with the lobes ascending at an acute angle to the midvein; shrubs or small trees to 5 m tall; [non-natives, cultivated, of upland habitats].
............ ............ ..14 Leaves coarsely and irregularly crenate (with mostly rounded tips), often slightly 3-lobed; nectary absent; staminal column 2.5-3.5 cm long; [widespread in our region]
............ ............ ..14 Leaves evenly serrate (with mostly sharp tips), never 3-lobed; nectary on lower surface of midvein near the junction of the midvein and petiole; staminal column 5-11.5 cm long; [FL peninsula].
............ ............ ....15 Flowers horizontal or declining; petals entire to crenate, spreading
............ ........11 Larger leaf blades of the mid to upper stem ca. 1× as long as wide, more-or-less orbicular in outline, usually 3-7-lobed (some leaves may be unlobed), if 3-lobed, not hastate (not with 2 basal lobes at nearly right angles to the midvein), some or all of the lobes broadest above their bases.
............ ............ ......16 Stems, petioles, and large leaf-veins armed with curved, reflexed ('cat-claw') prickles; petals pink; erect shrub or scrambling liana climbing on other vegetation, to 5 m tall (long)
............ ............ ......16 Stems, petioles, and large leaf-veins not armed (though harshly scabrous in H. aculeatus), except sparsely so in H. cannabinus and H. radiatus); petals white, cream, bright yellow, dark red, or bright red; erect perennial herbs and subshrubs to 3.5 m tall
............ ............ ........17 Annual from a taproot, to 0.5 (-1) m tall; calyx inflated at maturity; capsule 1.0-1.5 cm long; petals 1.5-3 (-4) cm long; staminal column 0.4-0.7 (-1.0) cm long; leaf blades 2.5-6.5 cm long, with (1-) 3 (-5) lobes, each lobe itself lobed; [section Trionum]
............ ............ ........17 Perennial from a crown, usually 0.7-3.5 m tall; calyx not inflated at maturity; capsule 1.2-3.5 cm long; petals 3-10 cm long; staminal column 1.5-7 cm long; leaves 4-25 cm long, 3-7-lobed, the lobes serrate or crenate but not themselves lobed.
............ ............ ..........18 Petals bright red, lacking a differently colored blaze at the base, 7.5-10 cm long, rotate, at right angles to flower axis, not overlapping one another; staminal column 6.5-7 cm long; epicalyx bracts 9-15, 2.5-4 cm long, not forked or appendaged near the tip; leaf nectary absent; calyx lobes not conspicuously 3-ribbed
............ ............ ..........18 Petals white, cream, bright yellow, dark red, with a darker maroon blaze at the base, 3-8 cm long, funnel-form, at an acute angle to the flower axis, overlapping one another; epicalyx bracts 7-12, 0.5-1.6 cm long, usually forked or appendaged near the tip; leaf nectary usually present, slit-like, on underside of midvein near junction with petiole; calyx lobes conspicuously 3-ribbed, 1 medial and 2 marginal.
............ ............ ............ 19 Leaves and stems harshly scabrous; calyx lobes each with an elongate purplish nectary on the back; [native, se. NC south to n. peninsular FL, west to TX]; [section Furcaria]
............ ............ ............ 19 Leaves and stems glabrous or glabrate, sometimes with sparse prickles; calyx lobes lacking nectaries; [non-native, cultivated and sometimes naturalized or persistent as waifs, mainly FL peninsula].
............ ............ ............ ....21 Calyx and epicalyx thick and fleshy, red; calyx glabrous
............ ............ ............ ....21 Calyx and epicalyx thin, herbaceous, green; calyx with stinging hairs.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Corolla yellow, with maroon blaze at base; stem with sparse prickles, otherwise glabrous
............ ............ ............ ......22 Corolla rose-purple (rarely yellow), with darker blaze at base; stem with sparse prickles, otherwise glabrous or glabrescent except for a line of fine, curved hairs
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