In Kannada it is known as Betta Tavare and Neladavare. Other common names are Chinese Rose, Changeable Rose, Double White Confederate Rose, and Cotton Rose Mallow. In Hindi it is known as SthalaKamal and the Botanical name is Hibiscus mutabilis. Betta Tavare belongs to family Malvaceae.
Betta Tavare means Lotus of the hills and to live up to its name, it is found in abundance in the Western Ghats.
This perennial plant is native to China and grows to a height of 15 feet. The large green leaves are 5 to 7 inches and are deeply lobed. They look like Maple leaves.
The large flowers can be single or double and are 3 to 5 inches across and are white when they open and change color over a three-day period.
They are deep pink when it is time to whither.
The Mutabilis in the botanical name means changeable. The fruit is a hairy capsule and when it dries, it releases fuzzy seeds, which got its common name Cotton Rose Mallow.
The flower is offered to gods and goddesses by the Hindus. Betta Tavare is offered to Lord Ganesha during 21 Pushpa (flower) Pooja while chanting the below mantra: “Om Brahmachaarine Namaha Sthala Padma Pushpam Samarpayami ”.
Propagation is by cuttings. It is a tough and easy plant to grow. Plant in full sun or partly sunny area in acidic or mildly acidic soil.