Hibiscus and Copy Cats

Tropical Hibiscus are so exotic.  But there are some other types of flowers that have the same features of a true hibiscus.

The flower petals of a Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) are very thin, almost tissue paper thin.  The pistil is extremely tall.  The red tip of this pistil is the stigma, or female part.   The tiny yellow dots just under it are stamens, the male part of the flower, where the pollen is located.

All Hibiscus and look a-likes have five flower petals.  The flower also has a deeper color in the center of the petals.  This draws pollinators into the flower so they will drop pollen into the ovary to create seeds.

Boy.  I bet you didn’t expect a science lesson.  But this helps us compare parts of copy cat flowers.

This is a Hardy Hibiscus with the same characteristics.  All Hardy Hibiscus are in the mallow family, Malvaceae.

One of the hardiest bushes for our area is Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus).  It is native to China, but has adapted to a drier, hotter climate.

The flowers have an uncanny resemblance to hisbiscus.  But these bushes are woody and can reach a height of 10 feet.

This is another Rose of Sharon.  The difference in flower petal color can only be accounted for by the slight variations in the soil.

I really like the deep red of this Hardy Hibisicus.  This bush came from seeds from a friend years ago.  It disappeared long ago.  Not sure why.

This Rose Mallow (Hibiscus moscheutos) has purple foliage.  Love the streaks of color in the petals.

Texas Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala) is a hardy native that has small flowers with a hibiscus look.  It’s a woody perennial that blooms profusely. 

Texas Star Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus) has an unusual look with petals separated by a different color.  These are not unique to Texas, and in fact, are not even native, but we grabbed that name.

Another Rose Mallow.  The petals are so thin that they are easily torn by wind.

This view emphases the crinkles in the petals.

This was my most favorite tropical Hibiscus that I’ve ever had.  It grew in a pot for about seven years before it became root bound. Since all tender plants have to be taken inside for the winter, it couldn’t be transplanted into the ground.

Still love its orangey, peachy color.

Tropical hibiscus needs filtered light, not direct sunlight.  But Hardy Hibiscus, Rock Rose, Texas Star Hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, and Rose Mallows need full sun.  It seems that the hotter, the better for them.

Aren’t the uniqueness of different flowers just amazing.

“A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.”  Zen Shin

3 thoughts on “Hibiscus and Copy Cats

  1. Loved this post, and love your favorite hibiscus at the end. Do you have any idea what hibiscus it is? Would be worth ordering!

    • Thanks for your comment. No I don’t know the name of the hibiscus. Sorry. Would love to have that information for myself.
      I think I bought it on a trip to San Angelo.
      I’m trying to be more diligent about documentation. Don’t always succeed, though.

      • Thanks, I SO understand this – I can be very hazy about items I know I planted in my garden!! Thanks anyhow! Still loved seeing the photo!

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