Hibiscus coccineus

Hibiscus coccineus

This is an unusual member of the Hibiscus genus (ht 1-2 m), in that it is completely herbaceous, dying back to the ground each winter and reappearing in late spring. Sometimes known as the 'swamp hibiscus', it comes from marshy areas in Georgia and Florida in the USA, so enjoy a moist - or even boggy - spot in the garden, though mine grows in an ordinary border. It suddenly comes into bloom for just a short time around February or March. A few large sculptured buds open into enormous scarlet silky blooms similar to those on the shrubby Hawaiian Hibiscus, but they last only a day or so. I enjoy its transient display as one of the dramas of late summer/early autumn. It has attractive palmate leaves. Propagation is by seed.

Flowers in February, March.