Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hibiscus heterophyllus Variegatus

      Hibiscus heterophyllus 'Variegatus'
The bonus of having a shrub with variegated foliage is that you get year round interest when the flowering time has finished. Variegation is sometimes not a very stable trait however and the appearance of green branches can sometimes indicate that the plant is fighting to caste off its gaudy party frock and return to being a 'plain Jane'. Such is the case here though the variegation is remaining on the uppermost stems and leaves which are vividly marked with white and cream; with this style of variegation being easier on the eye than yellow or gold which can look quite harsh in our Australian sun.
The flowers are produced from a very early stage as the top photo attests and are the typical Hibiscus big one day pale pink to white ones. 
This is a good quick growing screen shrub with a long summer blooming time. The only downside to the native Hibiscus is that the stems may be prickly and the slightly hairy stems and leaves may be a bit irritating to the skin. Given a position in sun or semi shade it may reach a height of three to five metres.
I currently have stock of this in 140 mm pots.

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