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Is this a hibiscus??

Posted by DAZED77 Bahamas (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 7, 05 at 11:27

A few months ago, I sowed some seeds (quite a few) that I found and were not labelled. I thought I would recognize it as the seedlings emerged. I have lots of these seedlings now and one has produced a bloom. They germinated very quickly but took some time to grow. It was not what I had been expecting at all. I have them planted way up against a tool shed wall because I figured that it was a vine. The bloom looks like a little hibiscus! although i could be wrong...

I would appreciate your opinion and species name if it is a hibiscus. Thanks

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

Hi,can't tell you the name, the leaves look like my hibisus,and the flowers look like some of my hibiscus.Hope this helps.Real pretty.

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

Hello DAZED77,
Ressearch says it is Abelmoschus moschatus, native of South East Asia. The tropical Australian sub-species is known as Abelmoschatus moschatus toberosus occuring northwards from about Townsville. As well as pink it can be found as white and yellow. The white form comes from near the tip of Cape York Peninsula. The plants develop a tuberous root that bursts into growth with the onset of spring storms. It is easy to grow here on the Sunshine Coast in containers provided that the tuber is kept on the dry side during the winter dormant period.

Regards, Brian Kerr.

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

Wow thanks Brian Kerr! You really know your hibiscus..I have no idea where I got these seeds from. Is it possible to relocate the plant? It is situated pretty close to the wall because I thought it was some kind of vine that I could have grow up towards the roof of the tool shed. It won't be visible (and its quite pretty) if I leave it there since I have some cosmos growing right in front of it...

By any chance, do the seeds from the same pod produce different colored blooms? I have quite a few of these seedlings.

Thank you.

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

I am doubtful that it is an Abelmoschus, though to be sure you would need to look at the back or calyx side of the flower. Abelmoschus has a fused calyx that splits down one side, plus an epicalyx of narrow bracts as in most Hibiscus spp.

The reasons I doubt it's Abelmoschus are:
1. leaves not sufficiently lobed
2. flowers too small in comparison with leaves
3. petals too narrow and rounded at apex
4. stamen filaments too few and widely separated where they depart from the very recurved staminal tube

I suspect this plant is one of the small-flowered Hibiscus species, maybe of Section Bombicella. Have a look at the link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Malvaceae Info Hibiscus Gallery

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

The foliage looks like the Confederate Rose, H. mutabilis, but the flower looks closer to A. moschatus. I've never seen anything quite like this. Perhaps a hybrid of the two?

Here is a link that might be useful: Abelmoschus moschatus (red form)

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

Here are some more photos:

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

We can at least confirm it's a true Hibiscus, not Abelmoschus (though recent research shows that that should be combined again with Hibiscus), on the basis of its narrow, separate epicalyx bracts, separate sepals, and 5-branched style with expanded stigmas.

My hunch is still that it's one of the many small-flowered species in Hibiscus sect. Bombicella. I think these are most diverse in Africa and the Americas, and they are not much grown in gardens. There's a possibility that it's a native or naturalised West Indian species.

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

So beautiful, whatever it is! Leaves remind me of a dombeya, but definitely not the flower.

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

Hello DAZED77 and Tonyfromoz, My research comes from information supplied by Geoff Harvey and he has researched this one and has the following reply:
"I have had another look at the image and the plant certainly looks like a typical Abelmoschus moschatus. It is probably a youngplant that would normally produce lobed leaves with further maturity.

It was once known as Hibiscus abelmoschus L.;H. rhodopetalus; H longifolius
etc.,but was seperated from Hibiscus due to the calyx splitting on one side during anthesis, attached to the corolla and falling with it after flowering.The Hibiscus calyx does not split and persists after flowering.

With Hibiscus the leaves are palmately nerved and often palmately
calyx usually deeply divided.
Abelmoschatus moschatus and its sub-species tuberosus are erect or decumbent herbs up to 75 cm tall; tap root tuberous; stems petioles and pedicles
densely pubescent with spreading simple hairs. Leaves with petioles 1-15 cm long; blades narowly ovate, hastate, to broardly ovate, palmatisect with oblong or narowly obovate lobes, apex subacute to obtuse, base cordate or
hastate or sometimes +/- truncate, margin crenate to coarsely serrate, 3.5-15 cm x 1.2-16 cm long; epicalyx bractioles 9-10, linear, 1-2(-2.5) cm long, persistent, spreading or reflexed; calyx ca 1.5-2 cm long; petals
pink, white or yellow with a darker base, sometimes red, 2.5-7 cm long.
if the bloom pictured has a white eye zone it will be A. moschatus not the sub-species tuberosus) Capsules ovoid, 3-5 cm x 1.5-2.5 cm, pubescent with long stiff hairs, often shorter hairs as well.
As you can see, the identification of the different Malvaceae can be
somewhat confusing. The plants can look entirely different due to growing conditions, age of the plant etc. A. moschatus is quite commonly sold through nurseries and was once available as seed through the seed company Thompson and Morgan.
I (Geoff)need more information regarding this "mystery Hibiscus" such as source of supply, where and when it was grown etc.

Would you or anyone (Tony from Oz)like to join my Hibiscus and Related Genera Study Group as an
associate member for $10-00 per annum? We do a lot of in depth study of the different Australian Malvaceae plants and put out 3 to 4 newsletters per annum. Full members have to be members of the Soc. for the Growing of Aust.Plants. Most of my work is vetted by Botanists who are group members."
Regards, Geoff
Good luck, Brian Kerr.

PS DAZED77, Did you get my latest information to your question about DIY hybridizing? Some interesting sites given for your information gathering.

RE: Is this a hibiscus??

Hi Brian Kerr, Thanks for all the valuable info. You have certainly taken alot of trouble. I didnot know that this would be so uncommon. I have no idea where I got the seeds from. I have been racking my brains but I just don't know. I just sort of scattered them in pots to see what I would get. I will be sure to post a another picture when the plant is larger.

As to the DIY hybridizing. I did take a look at the site that you provided. It was quite informative. So far, I have crossed red with yellow, yellow with pink and peach with yellow. I have no idea what I will get back.

I also recently picked up some cuttings of thedouble flowered variety of peach colored hibiscus, but according to your website, these are not likely to produce seeds.

Thanks once again. I really do appreciate it.

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