Friday, January 22, 2010

Neches River Mallow




Hibiscus dasycalyx is an endangered plant in its home state of Texas, where perhaps considerably less than a thousand plants exist in the wild. Yet it makes an easily grown and long lived garden plant. I got my plant at Fairweather Gardens in NJ several years ago during one of their open house events. It has a more graceful, though vigorous, habit than most other perennial hibiscus, and the somewhat smaller flowers are more in scale with the foliage. It comes up late, though it is perfectly cold hardy despite its Texas origins. It starts flowering in July and will continue until fall. Copious seeds are set in bristly capsules, and are annoyingly painful to clean due to said bristles. I've had some volunteers from self sown seed, which I give to a friend who likes hibiscus and also intend to transplant to the school garden next spring. In its native range H. dasycalyx is a wetland plant, but it has no issues growing under normal garden conditions, so long as it gets decent sun.

2 comments:

Acantholimon said...

Another plant I have never heard of: very cool!

You say it sets seed? Hint hint hint...

geranios said...

I'm planning on putting together a nice seed parcel for you soon, later when its warmer the impatiens tuber will follow. I have LOTS of seed of this hibiscus, its tough as nails, and anyone who grows it is helping to conserve an endangered species---so, as Martha would say---Its a good thing!