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Red leaf Hibiscus coccineus???

Raleigh, NC

Some years ago, I saw in a garden what appeared to be a large plant of Hibiscus coccineus that had red or purple foliage. It had the height, bright red flowers, and laciniated palmate leaves (sometime described as cannabis-like) of H. coccineus, but in a nice deep red color.
What plant could it have been? Is my memory deceiving me? Can anyone here can guess what that plant might have been?

Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)

You most likely saw Hibiscus acetosella 'Red Shield' or one it its cultivars , not Hibiscus coccineus which has green leaves. The most likely cultivar you saw was Hibiscus acetosella "Haight Ashbury" (PP19228) whose name doesn’t leave much to the imagination. Fortunately with deep red leaves, Hibiscus acetosella "Haight Ashbury" will not be mistaken by your local DEA agent or you local hippy commune as your cash crop. There are some other closely related cultivars as well. This Google Image search may help.

Google Image: Hibiscus acetosella "Haight Ashbury"
http://bit.ly/mIGPtq

DG: Hibiscus acetosella "Haight Ashbury"
http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/161676/

At your location, you might just be able to overwinter this Hibiscus with protection.

Mike

Raleigh, NC

Thank you.
Haight Ashbury does look great, but it is not the plant I remember.
However (!), Where I saw it came back to me, and I will swing by there today or tomorrow, and report on what the plant is.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

There are other cultivars of H. acetosella--I agree that it sounds like it's one of those vs a coccineus. 'Red Shield' has reddish foliage but without the variegation that 'Haight Ashbury' has http://davesgarden.com/guides/pf/go/63750/

Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)

Here are the four Hibiscus acetosella hybrids which may be of interest.

Hibiscus acetosella ‘Maple Sugar’ (PP16286)
Hibiscus acetosella ‘Haight Ashbury’ (PP19228)
Hibiscus acetosella ‘Panama Bronze’ (PP20811)
Hibiscus acetosella ‘Sahara Sunset’ (PP21765)

There is one hardy Hibiscus hybrid with Hibiscus coccineus like leaves which have a little red in them but they would never be described as having “a nice deep red color”.

Mike

Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)

Quote from Possum_s_gallop :
Some years ago, I saw in a garden what appeared to be a large plant of Hibiscus coccineus that had red or purple foliage. It had the height, bright red flowers, and laciniated palmate leaves (sometime described as cannabis-like) of H. coccineus, but in a nice deep red color.
What plant could it have been? Is my memory deceiving me? Can anyone here can guess what that plant might have been?

This past summer I was able to compare some of my red Hibiscus coccineus seedlings with Hibiscus coccineus Alba (white) and was struck by how much red was in the stems and leaves of the red flowering H. coccineus. In comparison, stems and leaves of H. coccineus Alba are pure green. I would still call the leaves of the red flowering H. coccineus green but they do show a lot of red also, particularly as the season advances. As I compared the two forms of H. coccineus I realized that there could be forms of H. coccineus where there was more red in the stems and leaves, compared to the cultavars with which I am familiar. If that is true, I may be guilty of a rush to judgment, for which I apologize.

There was one question which I should have asked you but didn’t. How tall were the Hibiscus you observed and can you describe the location and conditions in which you found the plant? One of my red H. coccineus reached over 9 feet for the first time this year.

Did you even get back to the location where you found the Hibiscus?

Mike

Blackshear, GA

Hi Michael,
Could you ID these for me? Is the first two red shield?

1 - Red shield?
2 - close up of leaves
3 - almost sure...the same plant as 1
4 - looks about the same the the leaves are smaller
5 close up of 4 leaves

Thumbnail by GAgirl1066 Thumbnail by GAgirl1066 Thumbnail by GAgirl1066 Thumbnail by GAgirl1066 Thumbnail by GAgirl1066
Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)

I agree that the Hibiscus depicted in the first set of pictures is Hibiscus acetosella ‘Red Shield’. I believe the last plant is Hibiscus acetosella ‘Maple Sugar’ (PP16286) with the runner up being Hibiscus acetosella ‘Panama Red’ (PP20121). Both cultivars have finer red leaves compared to Hibiscus Red Shield but the Hibiscus Maple Sugar plant patent was filed in 2004 while the Hibiscus Panama Red plant patent was filed in 2007, so it may have a three year head start in the trade.

Hibiscus plant named ‘Maple Sugar’
http://www.google.com/patents/USPP16286

Hibiscus plant named ‘Panama Red’
http://www.google.com/patents/USPP20121

Hibiscus ‘Maple Sugar’ Google Images
http://www.google.com/search?q=Hibiscus+Maple+Sugar&num=100&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp

Hibiscus ‘Panama Red’ Google Images
http://www.google.com/search?q=Hibiscus+Panama+Red’&num=100&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp

I have been flipping back and forth between your picture and the images in Google and both look plausible with a slight edge to Hibiscus ‘Maple Sugar’. As new cultivar are generally released after the patent is filed, if your last plant predates 2007 is has to be Hibiscus ‘Maple Sugar’. If you can locate a known specimen of Hibiscus ‘Maple Sugar’ or Hibiscus ‘Panama Red’, you might be able to take a cutting from your plant and do a side-by-side comparison. For two specimens which are this similar, even Google Images is not reliable, you need the live plants.

For additional information see this thread.
http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1063277/

Mike

Blackshear, GA

Thank you

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