Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Hiawatha'
Not from Tahiti or Hawaii but from the beautiful tropical island of Sri Lanka where it originated in the Peradeniya Botanical Garden at Kandy. In Sri Lanka, Hibiscus are known as 'shoe-black' as the flowers were used to polish shoes and as a dye. Crushing the hand sized flower releases a mucilaginous substance perfect for polishing shoes.
The 'amaranth red' flowers of 'Hiawatha' are ruffled with a fused recurved style and are produced in great abundance over the warmer months on what is a very hardy tall growing shrub. Leaves are small and glossy. This variety seems fairly resistant to pests such as Hibiscus beetle which favours lighter coloured flowers.