From Hibiscus for the Yard by R. H. Hanchey and W. D. Kimbrough:
“The hibiscus is one of the most popular flowering plants grown in tropical and subtropical areas…. It belongs to the mallow family, which contains several well-known plants such as cotton, hollyhock, turks cap, and the mallows. The genus Hibiscus also includes the shrub althea, confederate rose, and okra. The fringed hibiscus from Africa, the species schizopetalus, also belongs to this genus.
“There are several reasons for the increased popularity of the hibiscus. Improved varieties, especially some of the doubles, that attract attention are an important one. The fact that hibiscus bloom at a time of year when other flowers are not too plentiful, or are of poor quality, is of considerable importance. The realization that hibiscus may be grown successfully in many areas where it had not been grown has been helpful. The personal interest of some nurserymen in hibiscus and their making plants of good varieties available at reasonable prices has given impetus to the popularity of the plant.”
From “Hibiscus (Malvaceae)” in Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants In Your Garden by Noel Kingsbury:
“In those temperate regions with warm and humid summers, the range in [hibiscus] cultivation is boosted by a number of herbaceous perennial species from the U.S. Southeast, which have enormous flowers, e.g., Hibiscus moscheutos. In the tropics, H. rosa-sinensis is the most popular species in cultivation, with many varieties in a wide range of colours. A native of eastern Asia it has been in cultivation for many centuries — it is not clear how many. It is a polyploid, which adds much complexity and indeed unpredictability to its genetics; it is a very popular plant for both commercial and amateur breeding across the tropics, with many local societies promoting the plant and encouraging breeding.”
In an earlier post (see Bearded Iris Motley Mix (1 of 2)), I mentioned that I bought a couple of new hibiscus plants for two pots in my garden, but had no idea what kind or color the flowers would be since they only had a generic “Hello My Name is Hibiscus” plant tag. They started blooming a couple of weeks later, and while I initially thought they would be orange because of the color of their flower buds, the orange faded away as they opened and was replaced by dark red centers and saturated pink petals.
This is the first of two posts featuring these hibiscus, showing photos taken mid-morning. In the next post, I’ll show photos of these same hibiscus flowers taken in the early evening, between the late-day golden hour and blue hour around sunset. It was fun to see how the representation of color changed later in the day, when fading sun highlighted some of the blue, purple, and magenta in the flowers over the pinks and reds. Neat how that happens, don’t you think?
Thanks for taking a look!