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Hibiscus 'Old Yella' and Other Horticulture Myths

Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)

The hardy Hibiscus in which I have been most disappointed is Hibiscus 'Old Yella'. I purchased Hibiscus 'Old Yella' at a local garden center several years ago, anticipating the same flower which appeared on the plant description tag. As the attached photographs show, the bud of 'Old Yella' opens with great promises and is truly yellow. Upon fully opening, Hibiscus ‘Old Yella” turns white in my garden. Many reputable growers such as Sooner Plant Farm, in whom I have the highest respect and purchased Hibiscus, display photographs of Hibiscus 'Old Yella' with a yellow flower.

Hardy Hibiscus 'Old Yella' Fleming Hardy
http://www.soonerplantfarm.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=196

However, the Missouri Botanical Garden, who maintains the most extensive collection of hardy Hibiscus in North America, has photographs of Hibiscus 'Old Yella' which are in agreement with the plant in my garden.

Hibiscus 'Old Yella'
http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/your-garden/plant-finder/plant-details/kc/z160/hibiscus-old-yella.aspx

Fleming’s Flower Fields is now offering a new and improved Hibiscus “Old Yella” named Hibiscus “New Old Yella”.

Fleming Dwarf Hibiscus tm;, 'New Old Yella'
http://www.flemingsflowers.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=plants.plantDetail&plant_id=27

The Hibiscus is described as follows:

“'New Old Yella' is a big improvement on 'Old Yella' because it is half its size and more yellow in color. It is so compact that its leaves are also a small green "maple" shape. It is hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit like all of the Fleming Hardy Hibiscus tm. This hybrid is complimentary to all landscapes and patio scapes.”

The description “more yellow in color” when applied to Hibiscus ‘Old Yella’ is deceptive because almost anything is more yellow than white. Having been fooled by Hibiscus ‘Old Yella’, I am very reluctant to purchase Hibiscus ‘New Old Yella’ without a money back guarantee that it will perform as promised.

Excluding the likely possibility that Hibiscus ‘Old Yella’ owes more to Photoshop than the breeding skills of the Fleming brothers, the possibility has crossed my mind that the color of Hibiscus ‘Old Yella’ may depend on growing conditions.

Has anyone grown Hibiscus ‘Old Yella’ which performed as advertised and if so, what were the growing conditions?

Has anyone grown Hibiscus ‘New Old Yella’ and what were the results?

Mike

Thumbnail by Michael_Ronayne Thumbnail by Michael_Ronayne Thumbnail by Michael_Ronayne
Mesilla Park, NM

Hi Mike,
I have this same one on your first two photos. They don't look yellow, but are really gorgeous. Mine is in the ground which is/or used to be field planted many years ago, and now is my back yard. It may be like Blue River and Blue River 11, the first one I had was a beautiful big flower. The one I have now is smaller and not as pretty, looks alot like a ROS. to me. or the TX star hib. I don't care for this one I've got.

Do you know of anyone that has the first Blue River? I'd love to have that cultivar.

Nutley, NJ(Zone 6b)

Quote from Gourd :
Hi Mike,
I have this same one on your first two photos. They don't look yellow, but are really gorgeous. Mine is in the ground which is/or used to be field planted many years ago, and now is my back yard. It may be like Blue River and Blue River 11, the first one I had was a beautiful big flower. The one I have now is smaller and not as pretty, looks alot like a ROS. to me. or the TX star hib. I don't care for this one I've got.

Do you know of anyone that has the first Blue River? I'd love to have that cultivar.


All three photographs are of Hibiscus 'Old Yella', which starts out yellow and quickly fades to white as it opens. If your Hibiscus don’t open as pale yellow buds, they are most likely not Hibiscus 'Old Yella'. There are several other Fleming Brothers hardy Hibiscus which resemble Hibiscus 'Old Yella' when fully opened. If you have an interesting Hibiscus, please post pictures of the flowers and leaves.

Hibiscus ‘Blue River II’ is named for the Blue River in southern Oklahoma. If there was a predecessor for Hibiscus ‘Blue River II’ it was not released commercially and is not referenced in any of the literature I have reviewed. Attached is a photograph of my Hibiscus ‘Blue River II’ which is a prolific bloomer with large pure white flowers. Hibiscus ‘Blue River II’ is also a prolific seed producer but if you grow Hibiscus ‘Blue River II’ from seeds it is not authentic, for that you need a clone of the parent. Attached is a picture of the Hibiscus ‘Blue River II’ in my garden.

Mike

Thumbnail by Michael_Ronayne
Mesilla Park, NM

Hi Mike,

I took pictures of both plants in flower. The Old Yella did start off yellowish or off white, then turned completely white.

Now, for some reason I thought there was a previous Blue River... I wish I had taken photos of the one I had a couple of years ago. I have to find my photos, this year was a little rough on me, but I did manage to take lots of photos. Didn't upload them though, and used two cameras, so I have to find them.

I did get seeds from both Old Yella and Blue River II. Only a couple of pods. Most likely crosses since I've got so many Hardies growing.

A.

Mesilla Park, NM

Here is old yella blooming this morning and itch other I think is kopper king, I love your blue river II, mine is full of buds..

Thumbnail by Gourd Thumbnail by Gourd Thumbnail by Gourd Thumbnail by Gourd Thumbnail by Gourd
Las Vegas, NV(Zone 9a)

I have two of the new Old yella. Very small starts that i received from Fleming. They are about the size of your little finger. I planted them in my holding garden and they have put on leaves and are alive. If and when they ever bloom, and we all know it will not be this year, I will post photos. Sharon

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