Malvaviscus penduliflorus is a shrub up to 4 m tall with fairly dense split hairs on the stems. The leaves are oval or sword shaped, 4-10 cm long, with a pointed tip and toothed margins.
The flowers are either solitary or clustered and hang downwards. The flowers are similar to Hibiscus flower in that the stalks that support the anthers (pollen producing structures) fuse to form a column that sticks out from the rest of the flower. By extending the anthers out from the flower the pollen is exposed to pollinators to ensure the transfer of pollen for fertilization of a different flower therefore ensuring seed production. In Hawaii this plant does not fruit, although it is said to produce fruit occasionally in Mexico.
(Staples, G. W. and D. R. Herbst. 2005. A Tropical Garden Flora: Plants cultivated in the Hawaiian Islands and other tropical places. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, Hawai`i.)
(Wagner, W. L., Herbst, D. R., and S. H. Sohmer. 1999. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai`i. Revised Edition. Volume 1. Bishop Museum Special Publication 97. University of Hawai`i Press, Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, Hawai`i.)