Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hibiscus Heaven

I have four species of native hibiscus in my garden and all have flowered this year despite being planted only 12 months ago. They are a bit prickly but stunning. The flowers are huge but only last a day or so.

This is the Native Rosella (Hibiscus heterophyllus) - my favourite which is just coming into flower.

And the Hollyhock Tree (Hibiscus splendens) which has been flowering for a couple of weeks now and is still covered in buds.

The Swamp Hibiscus (Hibiscus diversifolius) which was the first to flower back in autumn

and finally the Prostrate Hibiscus (Abelmoschus moschatus) which flowers in late summer and dies back in the winter.

 All are native to the Greater Brisbane Region and according to "Wild Plants of Greater Brisbane" aborigines reportedly ate the young shoots and leaves, and also the flowers, either raw or cooked. The bark fibre was used to make dilly bags or hunting nets. Strangely they don't appear to be the food plants of birds or butterflies as far as I can find out.

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