24 July 2010

kopper is king ? a blushing and boastful hibiscus.

behold, a massively petaled kopper king hibiscus tucked into my garden. this is a hardy  (for our zone 6b region, i should note) hibiscus with a dark reddish brown nearly blood-veined set of leaves. it grows to about 3 or 4 feet tall. mine is around that point already.

but unfortunately, the puffy pink petals, with the flowers themselves probably spanning at least 5 or 6 inches across, are apparently considered scrumptious by critters, as evidenced by some holes in their patchwork.

this hibiscus is grown by new jersey's centerton nursery. the man who started the nursery  and began his agricultural escpades in illinois, donald mcallister, headed a top-secret production of marijuana to produce the fiber hemp for the u.s. navy during world war ii, as the government mandated its cultivation as a rotation crop since hemp played a role in making rope.

the day lily blooms i often post are also from centerton nursery in bridgeton. 

this hibiscus' thick stalks should be cut back to about a foot off the ground or less during or before winter. since it blooms later in the season, it often looks completely dead early on in spring. but have patience because it will eventually shoot up new red-gushing growth. the first year i had mine, i thought it died, but i realized that it's just slower to join its glamor into the growing season.

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