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Hibiscus Schizopetalus – Facts about a Unique Flower
This is not your typical garden variety shrug. The hibiscus schizopetalus which can be translated from the Greek as split petals is well known among breeders and is widely used in cross breeding as a wild specimen. First this unique beauty has been found on Madagascar but like all the hibiscuses it loves lots of moist and sunshine blooming with bright red distinctly shaped flowers throughout the summer till late fall.
What Makes It Special?
Even though schizopetalus belongs to the hibiscus family it has its own distinctive and unique character predetermined by the natural habitat and the conditions that made it very susceptive to the cold weather and different in handling then other hibiscuses. You will not want to prune it or try to turn it into a tree as the blossoms are growing in the different way than other hibiscus sorts. So let us give you a few advices on handling this unique flower:
- The deeply cut fringed flowers that resemble lanterns hence the second name of the breed – Japanese lantern.
- Each flower is hanging on a long pedicel and is made of five split petals
- The foliage is brighter and smaller than that of the other hibiscuses
- Grows taller and leggier resembling a tree although actually it is a shrub
- Does not benefit from pruning so it is best you cut it every few years
- The flowers grow on the last year branches so you should not try to cut those off
- Very temperature sensitive, bring it indoors immediately as the temperature falls to 1 C or it will lose all the leaves.
There are some common features between the schizopetalus and the Bunga Raya aka rosa-sinensis. Both can be cross bred and hybridized proving that hibiscus family can produce multiple breed varieties.
The propagation is not as hard as this is a natural occurring breed so it is not very picky when it comes to the soil and can be grown from the seed. It can tolerate mild droughts and coastal salts in the ground. Will bloom sporadically throughout the warm season and has to be take indoors as the temperatures fall.
So even if the gardening is not your major planting this hibiscus will not be a big issue for you. Provide moisture, sunshine and take it indoors as the temperatures drop. These beautiful flowers will attract butterflies and humming birds throughout the summer.
Pagoda Flower aka hibiscus schizopetalus is a great choice for every gardener and you will never regret the purchase.
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