HARDY HIBISCUS ID - Looks Similar to Fireball

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I have a hardy hibiscus that is very similar to Fireball--same dinnerplate sized red bloom and it's very hardy in zone 7.

The difference is that the bloom has a dark red or purple eye and the maple-like foliage has red veins.

I bought both of these thinking they were both Fireball, but clearly this one isn't. Here's a pic of the bloom.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Here's a pic of my Fireball bloom.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Here's the foliage of the Fireball-wanna-be.

Thumbnail by ButterflyChaser
Redding, CA(Zone 8b)

Butterfly Chaser,

I believe the first picture, and last of the foliage are Fireball. Fireball has a distinct dark red eye and the maple-like foliage is usually flushed with purple tones.

The second picture that you are calling Fireball looks too pink to me to be Fireball, though I know it can be hard to capture the color and the lighting makes a difference. If it is a red and not a dark pink then it looks like Lord Baltimore to me. Lord Baltimore does not have a darker eye. If it is a dark pink I don't recognize which one it is.

You might want to check out my website for some picture of the different varieties.

I have taken all of these photos except for: Sultry Kiss and Cranberry Crush----in the next week I should be changing those photos to ones I have taken. The Sultry Kiss is much like Fireball with a dark eye, but a dark pink, not as red as the picture.

Hope this helps. Dee

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

Thanks, Dee. They were both sold to me as Fireball. The 2nd picture was taken in bright sun, making it appear pinkish. But it's actually the same color as the first picture. The two plants are identical with the exception of the dark eye on the first one.

The hib in the 2nd photo produced 100's of blooms last year (and this year too), but I only got two seed pods from it, and if I remember correctly, the seeds were not velvet coated. I've never grown Lord B, but aren't the seeds for it velvet-coated?

Your website is great. I've just acquired most of the varieties you have there and can't wait to see them bloom--especially the Peppermint Schnapps. I'm still trying to acquire Turn of the Century but it's always sold out by the time I find it someplace.

Thanks for your help. I'll move my Fireball tag over to the true Fireball.

Redding, CA(Zone 8b)

Glad to help. I just took photos of Sultry Kiss and Cranberry Crush and posted them on the site. The Sultry Kiss picture does look a bit too pink but it is better than the other picture I had.

Many of the Hybrid Hardy Hibiscus have sterile seeds and never develop enough to germinate or if at all. Many of them are patented plants and royalties have to be paid. The only successful way to get a true variety is by cuttings which being in the nursery business I am prohibited from doing.

I usually sell my over-stock in fall or early spring, bare root and probably at better prices than you would find anywhere else. Contact me then if you are interested.


Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)

I mentioned the seeds because you said the 2nd pic looked like Lord Baltimore. I believe LB is very fertile, isn't it? And aren't the seeds velvet-coated? The seeds I got from this red one were not velvety and I only got the one pod. I haven't grown LB before, so I can't really compare it, but I remember a friend giving me seeds for it. So do you have any other idea of who it could be?

I'd love to get some Turn of the Century and Fantasia. So I'll holler at you in the fall. Thanks!


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