Monday Escape: Lemon Drop

Hibiscus, Lemon


I can’t think of many people who don’t like hibiscus, particularly amongst my fellow vintage- and tiki-loving pals! While this glamourous golden hibiscus is of the tropical variety, though, there’s actually a hibiscus native to the continental US: Hibiscus moscheutos. It may be more recognizable by more common English names like “Marshmallow hibiscus” and “Crimsoneyed rosemallow”. The blooms are usually white and occasionally pink with deeply blushing centers, and (unsurprisingly) attract hard-working  hummingbirds. Not everyone wants a bunch of bumblebees around the house, but who could complain about hummingbirds (though to be honest, I’m sure bumblebees like hibiscus, too).

The plant’s native distribution in the United States is quite broad, reaching from Texas and Florida to Ohio and West Virginia, but our far Northern neighbors are in luck as well, because this member of the mallow family is also fond of the Ontario area! It’s nice to know even those of us far from the tropics can enjoy such an exotic-looking flower, isn’t it? As you know, I’m always looking for natives popular with pollinators, and this—not only is it an elegant native, but we have a tiki bar on the deck!—looks like a great candidate.

Hibiscus moscheutos USDA

Robert H. Mohlenbrock @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA SCS. 1991. Southern wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. South National Technical Center, Fort Worth. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 What do you think? Are your fingers itching to get your hands on a few of these blooming beauties?


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