Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hibiscus - 'Tosca' and 'Lohengrin'

These two Hibiscus are unique in that they are from a cross between Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) and the southern 'Confederate Rose'. They grow into small trees, maybe 15 feet tall, multistemmed, and provide nice shade rather quickly.
This first one is 'Lohengrin', at least I think it is. They're kind of like twins. You know both names and never seem to be able to figure out which one is which. I'm not the only one who gets confused on these. I've seen both names on either picture in a number of catalogs.
The other result of this cross is 'Tosca'. Both have flowers that are larger than Rose of Sharon and right now thay are buzzing overhead with all of the bees of various sorts busily pollinating them. I won't tell all of the buzzing things that they are wasting their time since both of these are sterile and don't produce viable seeds. This is probably their biggest improvement over Rose of Sharon - no seedlings all over the place. They do sucker a bit, so you'll find the occasional baby a few feet away. We've left some nearest the trunk and either dig the others up and pot them to share or just cut them off.
We have quite a few of these on the property and wouldn't be without them this time of year for the bright colors. Better in sun than shade, but seem to be able to grow in either.

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