- A plant you didn't think you particularly cared for, but it keeps catching your eye.
- A plant you notice on the way to photograph another plant, but you just can't ignore it.
- Oh, and it's photogenic.
Obviously I don't have any Hibiscus growing in my garden right now. Not much is growing in my garden right now. And actually I've never planted or tended Hibiscus. But for some reason, I can't ignore them anymore. No better time to celebrate a flamboyant plant than when the garden outside is drab and dull. These golden beauties planted near a park bench in New Orleans were an afterthought. I was snapping photos of other plants, while these guys were screaming, "Look at us! Take our picture!"
I didn't know much about Hibiscus before writing this post, since I've been trying to ignore them all these years. Why? I don't know. Maybe because I considered them too showy and bright. But now I'm surrendering and admitting they're simply...spectacular.
According to American Meadows, there are two main types of Hibiscus--tropical and hardy varieties. The tropicals are native to Asia and the Pacific islands, and can be grown in some areas of the U.S. as shrubs or annuals. The hardy varieties, on the other hand, survive as perennials in climates as cold as USDA zone 4!
There are hundreds of species of Hibiscus, according to an examinar.com article about Hawaiian tropical flowers.
I believe this vibrant showstopper is a tropical variety of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, commonly known as Chinese Hibiscus.
It was growing as a hedge between the sidewalk and a stately home in New Orleans' garden district.
This graceful beauty looks to be a variety of the hardy Hibiscus moscheutos, commonly called Swamp Mallow or Rose Mallow. Although it can be grown as a perennial in cold climates, it also tolerates extreme heat. I photographed these Hibiscus blooms on one of the hottest days of the summer in Branson, Mo. I believe the high temperature was 107 that day, and these shots were taken in the late morning.
All Hibiscus plants prefer sunny locations--in short supply in my garden. But maybe I can find a spot with dappled sunlight. Or maybe a sunny spot in my next garden...
I'm linking in with Dozen for Diana at Elephant's Eye. Check out her blog for plant recommendation from gardeners around the world.