Wednesday, July 4, 2007

A really pretty red flower

Pavonia missonianum is a hibiscus relative from Argentina and perhaps elsewhere in South America. It is not something the local nursery is likely to have, which is a pity, since it is easy to grow and very pretty. The flowers are not huge, maybe a couple of inches across on a good day, and rather fleeting, but they are produced steadily once the plant begins to flower. The color is what is amazing, the photographs cannot really capture the warm red color which is enhanced by the yellow star in the middle of the flower.
The seeds are encased in a hard coat as are most members of its family, so they can germinate quickly or very erratically over a period of time. The plant I have gets partial sun during the day and that seems to suit it fine, though I imagine it might like full sun even better. The first bloom was produced on a plant a few inches high under lights, and it did form a seed pod, but later flowers produced outside have been larger.

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