Indigenous to South Africa’s winter rainfall areas, Anisodontea scabrosa grows well in coastal sands at low altitudes. They are hardy plants able to withstand frost.
Anisodontea scabrosa is an evergreen perennial shrub that can reach heights of 2-3m. Stems are partially woody with upright branches. Pruning at the beginning of Spring encourages blooming and to maintain a bushier shape.
The hairy leaves are soft, sticky and aromatic with prominent veins. The 3 lobed, toothed leaves can grow to 20 – 70mm long.
The dark pink flowers resemble small hibiscus blooms 20 – 25mm in diameter. Flowers appear all year round with an abundant display during Spring and early Summer (September to December).
The fruit is 9-15 chambered, dry and dehiscent (opens spontaneously when ripe) producing small black seeds.
The name Anisodontea comes from the Greek aniso, referring to the leaves which are unevenly toothed. The species name scabrosa is derived from the Latin scaber, meaning rough to the touch, as felt in the harshly hairy leaves.
Anisodontea scabrosa is sticky and smells of tar which makes it unappetizing to preying insects; however, honey bees and carpenter bees are known to frequent the flowers.