Seen on the eastern coastal path nr Bronte Beach
The flowers appear to start off deep pink and fade to white as they get older. They have quite a ‘furry’ texture and a slight scent. Any ideas?
Edit May 2021: Over six years later and I think I have found the answer. Norfolk Island Hibiscus. Other names include Cow Itch Tree and White Oak
Lagunaria patersonia is a rare fast growing pyramidal evergreen tree with 4-5″ long leaves. It develops 2-3″ hibiscus like solitary bright pink flowers in summer that fade to pale pink. They mature to produce seed pods that contain orange seeds that have fine hairs that can be a skin irritant and are toxic to both humans and animals.
It is a good coastal specimen and is very attractive when established, making a good windbreak, though it is not very frost hardy. Often seen as street trees due to their ability to look after themselves.
It is not a true Hibiscus, but does belong to the same plant family, Malvaceae.