You've found the famous Dave's Garden website! Join this friendly global community that shares tips and ideas for home and gardens, along with seeds and plants!|
Check out the DG homepage for a brief overview of what you'll find in this gardening mega-site.
|Positive ||Wombat47 ||On Mar 4, 2011, Wombat47 from Southern Tablelands
One man's meat .. etc.
My Australian experience - Son was living in NSW coastal city (temperate climate) where these trees were used as street plantings and he was quite taken with them.
When he moved south again, I picked a couple of seed pods. Having identified the plant, I did wear gloves when removing the seeds from the pod.
Result was three seedling trees - not terribly big, but they live in pots - and they flower.
AND they have survived my very frosty (southern tablelands) winters and temperatures down to -7C.
Son and I are both impressed with the delicate little pink hibiscus flowers. This tree and the deciduous syriarcus are the only hibiscus which will grow in my area.
|Negative ||onomus ||On Jan 25, 2011, onomus from North Shore
New Zealand wrote:
I moved into a property 5 years ago, the neighbour has this horrible 100mtr tall Norfolk Island Hibiscus inches from my house. It towers over the roof and continually drops seed pods in my guttering - blocking it. Absolutely horrible pods that when it rains its a gooey mess. Not too mention the prickles- overhangs the clothes line, and shades completely that side of house!
I had it confirmed at the local garden centre its species. I'm am not exaggerating about it height. The breadth is huge too.
Its a nightmare. My son is an Ariel Aborist. He won't touch it!
Wouldn't recommend it too my worst enemy.
|Negative ||hi_lectro ||On Dec 25, 2010, hi_lectro from melbourne
Agree with all the other negative comments about this tree. I can't possibly think of a good point to it at all.
The local council (I live in Williamstown, VIC) planted them in front of my house 30 years ago. (after ripping out the Flowering Eucalyptus which were fine...) Ever since then, they have been trouble.
- Seeds are like asbestos. They HURT when they dig into your skin. It is unavoidable; whenever I work outside, my hands will have at least one seed stuck in them, and they are hard to remove. You cannot let kids near them, or they'll end up covered in them and in severe pain.
- They are bad for people who have allergies.
-The sap ruins paint jobs on cars, and they constantly drip sap. So no good to park the car under for shade.
- The leaves/flowers shed all the time and create a real mess in the street, again.
- No grass grows underneath them.
MTVineman - you have no idea what you are talking about. You probably have a very small specimen which is not an issue, but trust me, they're a terrible plant and should never be planted close to anyone.
|Positive ||MTVineman ||On Jul 17, 2010, MTVineman from Helena, MT (Zone 5a) wrote:
Sad to see so many crappy comments about this beautiful tree. I do understand though from reading the negative comments which seem to all be from Australians who were tortured as children with the pods from this tree. All I can say is: Children are cruel. They are some of the cruelest little beings on this planet. But, this isn't about children. It's about this beautiful tree which does very well for me as a potted specimen here in Montana. It goes outside for the summer and rewards me with much growth and beautiful blossoms of dark pink. Yes, they look somewhat like a Hibiscus but not really. Not sure that they resemble any flower except what they are! Being a member of the Malva family, I find it fascinating that there is a tree form in that genus. I love this tree and I will continue to grow it and give cuttings to friends and will continue to recommend it people too. Sorry for those who were tortured by it as children but it's a gorgeous tree. Don't bad mouth it! It's not as if the tree attacked you. Fabulous as a houseplant and blooms prolifically. If you can get one, do it! I imagine it's even more spectacular growing in a zone that it can take and enjoys.
|Neutral ||rareplantbroker ||On Jun 22, 2010, rareplantbroker from Fort Pierce, FL wrote:
After growing this tree for close to a year, I've discovered several previous comments may be incorrect. When first planted on the barrier island in Indian River County, we had problems with the soil's ph. Leaves were very small and the tree was struggling. We used a soil acidifier on it and within a few months it perked right up and this spring surprised us with blooms. It definitely does not require another tree to set seed as I'm sure there isn't another one within 50 miles of this specimen. Additionally, we had one of the most prolonged coldest winters on record--with temperatures as low as in the high 20's--and it handled this without a problem. Additionally, Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota has a rather large specimen planted directly on the bay. Even though the seed pods are said to cause itching, one can use caution handling these. With there being so many plants that cause this type of reaction, I don't see any reason to not plant this species because of this plant's one defensive measure.
|Negative ||MargaretK ||On Jun 16, 2008, MargaretK from PERTH
Living in Western Australia, I've always known this tree as the "Itchy Powder Tree". It was used as a method of torment by school kids who would put the seed case down some poor unsuspecting victims back. I never participated but was witness to the awfully irritating effects. I agree with the comment not to plant it around school yards or playgrounds (or anywhere else for that matter).
|Negative ||Silverfern ||On Feb 22, 2005, Silverfern from North Shore City (Auckland reg
New Zealand wrote:
This tree should not be grown by anyone. Not only does it pose a health risk but it should be labelled a pest plant. It seeds easily and competes with native vegetation eventually dominating and taking over as the seedlings, if left to grow form thickets. Many arborists will not touch this tree because of the seedpods which contain the irritating silicon-like hairs. I also noticed the german or european wasp feeding from the seedpods in late summer/autumn. I have read nothing positive about this tree.
|Negative ||Lloydtreeman ||On Jul 9, 2003, Lloydtreeman from Melbourne
the fruits of the plant contain irritating silicon crystals which have been related to abestos like breathing problems and are very irritating if handled or gotten onto clothes. Because of this many local authorities in Australia have banned them and it is reccomended not to use them near schools or playgrounds.
|Neutral ||mystic ||On Nov 17, 2002, mystic from Ewing, KY (Zone 6a) wrote:
Wear gloves when working with the seedpods, the hairs in the seedpods cause skin irritation.That's where the name Cow Itch Tree comes from.More than one plant is needed to produce seed.This plant is native to E.Australia,including Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island.
This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:
San Diego, California (2 reports)
San Francisco, California
Santa Monica, California
Indian River Shores, Florida