Thursday, March 25, 2010

Rose of Sharon Lavender Chiffon

Rose of Sharon
Hibiscus syriacus 'Lavender Chiffon'
(hi-BIS-kus) (seer-ee-AK-us)
Synonym: Notwoodone

Even though this plant is a summer bloomer I thought posting it was appropriate since we are about to prune the Rose of Sharon collection at the Estate. This cultivar of Hibiscus caught my eye while trying to buy a large Japanese Maple. It looked different and worth several pictures of which this was the best. I didn’t get the Maple, as the cheapest one the nursery had was $3500 and they went up to $10,000. My budget is about $1800 and I will certainly be prowling around through he spring shipments looking for ‘my’ tree.

It turns out that this Rose of Sharon is different and is part of a new (2000) class called Anemone Flowered types.

These new cultivars were developed by Dr. Roderick Woods, an amateur breeder from Cambridge, England. While Dr. Wood’s breeding goal was to develop a superior pink flower, he stumbled upon a totally new flower shape, best described as anemone-like. The blooms have the typical five big petals of a single flower but are adorned with a puff of petaloid stamen in the center of the flower. The flowers are truly unique and beautiful. Woods was about to trash a batch of seedling (the flowers weren’t pink), when Ian Dickens (curator of the Nation Hibiscus collection) luckily rescued two unique plants with tremendous potential. These two new selections, called Lavender Chiffon® ‘Notwoodone’ and White Chiffon® ‘Notwoodtwo’ have since won both Gold and Silver medals respectively from the Boskoop Royal Horticulture Society in the Netherlands. Having been developed in England, the plants exhibit strong growth even in a cool weather climate.
The previous passage was provided courtesy of Proven Winners. I love plants with a bit of a back-story and ‘Lavender Chiffon’ has a good one. If you have time surf around the Proven Winners website. They are supplying more and more interesting plants to the trade. Their efforts are usually intriguing and constantly showing up at both my local retail and wholesale nurseries.

Click Here for a Larger Version

This rose of Sharon, which is not the tropical type of Hibiscus, but a very hardy (-20F) version that we northern gardeners can enjoy. They get quite tall and can be trained as a shrub or small tree form. My backyard is full of them from all seedlings and now I try to remove the spent flowers before they go to seed. In general they are an easy to grow, low maintenance plant that gives a nice blast of color when you need it, in late summer. In the big garden we generally reduce them by half this time of year and since they bloom on new wood it doesn’t affect the flowering.


Anonymous said...

I love rose of sharon...we have a bush in the yard :)

Kala said...

They bloom in August where I live. It's a beautiful flower.

Regina said...

Delightful Rose of Sharon.

Rena said...

I have this lovely flower in my yard-Love it! It blooms here in south Brazil during the "summer" months of Dec-Mar.