Sunday, February 1, 2015

#FKA Hibiscus species

 Jacob Peter Storck (1836-1893)
Botanist and Nurseryman
Berthold Carl Seemann (1825-1871)
Botanist and Plant Hunter 
'Formerly known as' or 'name unresolved' applies to two interesting Hibiscus species which have an Australian connection and they are Hibiscus storckii and Hibiscus denisonii.
In 1859, German born Jacob Storck was working at the Botanic Gardens in Sydney where he met fellow German Berthold Seemann. The following year, on April 20th they set sail for Fiji on a plant hunting expedition where they discovered a pink flowered Hibiscus growing in the wild. Seemann named it Hibiscus storckii for his companion. Following this initial discovery it was never sighted again but later a Hibiscus which matched the description was found in Sydney and was named Hibiscus denisonii after Sir William Thomas Denison (1804-1871) who was a Governor of New South Wales from 1855-1861. Are they one of the same and where can I get my hands on one.? In the meantime they have been lumped together as just forms of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis.
The video below is an interesting retelling of some adventurous 19th Century garden and plant history.

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