Hibiscus calyphyllus is a dense, rounded shrub; up to 3 m high; the leaves are large, up to 50 mm in diameter, light green, soft and velvety; the flowers are lemon-yellow, large, up to 100 mm in diameter, with a deep red to blackish centre; the fruit is a papery capsule that splits open to reveal hairy to hairless seeds. It is fairly fast growing and will flower repeatedly, the flowers lasting for a reasonable amount of time. The natural habitat of Hibiscus calyphyllus is open bush, thickets and forests, often also found along rivers.
Hibiscus calyphyllus is relatively frost tolerant, requires a moderate amount of water and prefers warm to cooler areas.
Natural distribution stretches from the Eastern Cape in South Africa to tropical East Africa