Sunday, September 13, 2009
CONFEDERATE ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME
I would like to share a plant with you from my good friend and neighbor behind my house. I will introduce you to the "Confederate Rose" (hibiscus mutabilis). Neither a "confederate" nor a "rose" by ANY name, this member of the hibiscus (Malvaceae) family has double, more often almost triple blooms it seems and it is really a hardy perennial in Zones 7-9, though in 8 & 9 it becomes a seasonal "tree" of sorts. It originally hails from southern (!) China and it is true to its name "mutabilis" meaning mutable...color changing. The Confederate Rose has 3 basic good reasons for becoming part of YOUR garden landscape: low maintenance, drought resistant and flowers at the time of summer when everything else seems to have finished. Cut old, woody stems to about 1-ft above ground in winter and just let it go "a naturale" next spring, with new shoots reaching around 15-ft tall and 10-ft wide or so. Propagate from cuttings and seeds are often available from garden sources or someone who has one as well. Enjoy this as a background feature and front with day lilies or other spreading low growing, blooming plants such as lantana (Lantana camara/Verbenacea family) to give some foreground depth and attention. So enjoy this presentation and thank you my good neighbor, "Mr. C".