Ornamental Hibiscus

 

Hibiscus syriacus

Not actually native to Syria

Native to India and China

Most popular and widely cultivated species

Has been cultivated in China since the dawn of   written history

Leaves were used as a substitute for tea

Flowers were eaten as a delicacy

 

Description

Ornamental shrub: 10-12'

Very hardy and will survive severe winters without protection

Does well in partial shade

Leaves: relatively small; generally triangular-ovate

Flowers: solitary, axillary, profuse

Colors vary in spectrum from white to red to blue

 

Hibiscus mutabilis

Also known as the Tree Lotus

Earliest Chinese plant to reach Europe (before 1632)

Bark can be used for paper

 

Description

Herbaceous and perennial: up to 5'

Flowers: 4" in diameter

Blooms white in the morning and is pink by the end of the day

 

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Native to the East Indies

Reached Europe in 1731

Widely cultivated: many varieties have been created with different colors

 

Description

Evergreen shrub

Can reach up to 18-20' in its native state

Non-hardy and cannot weather winters

Leaves: ovate, vivid green, shiny, pointed

Flowers: solitary; 3-5" in diamter

Pistols and stamens are very conspicuous

Originally scarlet red, but have been made orange, yellow, pink and near-white

 

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