by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
When my old camera died, I was after the luminous buttery yellow flowers of Hibiscus tiliaceus. Years later our small tree has rediscovered flowering.
|Hibiscus tiliaceus bud in our Elephant's Eye garden|
Chosen for the leaves with Pam @ Digging. A perfect heart. With a bonus discovered in my garden – the leaves fade to autumn glory year round. The leaf buds come out in a velvety deep burgundy. Growing into glowing green hearts. As the leaves mature the green slowly fades, and the leaves turn. Yellow, gold, amber, orange, red – the darker veins snaking across the paler surface.
|Glowing green leaf heart of Hibiscus tiliaceus|
I’ve been tempted to pick the leaves, but they insist on being admired ON the plant.
|Hibiscus tiliaceus leaves doing 'autumn' glory|
When we gardened in Camps Bay, we went each year to Kirstenbosch for the sale of indigenous plants. Then, it was the only source. Passing years have brought us nurseries like Van den Berg Garden Village who specialise in indigenous trees. This loose shrub is a souvenir of the 2006 Kirstenbosch sale. There are 3 cuttings in pots for the next garden. If I don’t succeed, I’ll track down a new plant – but I must have those hearts on fire in my garden.
|Hibiscus tiliaceus loose shrub 2 metres high|
I’ve wondered - why there were no flowers for years. For Plant Postings garden lessons learned, mine is to go back and read the instructions. Full sun? Yes! Wet feet? Ah, expecting to grow on the shore of a lagoon.
|turning colour on a Hibiscus tiliaceus flower|
|Yesterday, today and tomorrow in Hibiscus tiliaceus flowers|
I’ve captured yesterday’s memory in crumpled russet, and hope for tomorrow in lime green – with a single flower over one morning and afternoon. As with the turning leaves, the flowers begin in a clear buttery yellow with a deep burgundy heart. As the day passes the burgundy gently spreads veins across the petals. I watched while the petals drifted to glowing apricot, burnt orange, then flaming russet.
|buttery yellow lights up Hibiscus tiliaceus|
|hearts of Hibiscus tiliaceus flowers|
Wild cotton tree, sea or lagoon hibiscus, in the Malvaceae. It grows along the coast from the Eastern Cape to Zululand and extends into the tropics where it is widespread along the sea shore on margins of watercourses or in tidal zone thickets. It fringes estuaries and coastal areas along rivers and lagoons. 59 species of Hibiscus in southern Africa. Resemblance to the related Tilia (lime and linden trees) gives tiliaceus. The branches are used as living fence posts and fish kraals. The fibre from the bark makes excellent rope used in hut building. No frost. Would prefer it humid and sub-tropical - from PlantZAfrica
Wild Singapore says - The sea hibiscus has been renamed as Talipariti tiliaceum based on DNA studies, but the old name Hibiscus tiliaceus is still widely used.
|Dozen for Diana flowers (one repeated for the non-flowering Searsia tree)|
Sea hibiscus completes my Dozen for the still virtual garden in False Bay. Your December plant? Denise Noniwa in Holland winnowed her choice down to black bamboo - exotic and elegant. Beth @ PlantPostings has an agave from Utah about to endure winter on a covered screened porch. Donna @ GardensEyeView joins me with rosemary for remembrance. ‘Rosemary grows wild on the Gallipoli Peninsula, and in Australia sprigs are worn on Anzac Day to signify remembrance.’ I remember Nic and my mother.
|Dozen for Diana leaves|
Next year I will harvest some posts from Elephant's Eye, edit and bring them to Elephant's Eye on False Bay. Ultimately leaving the original blog to tell the focused story of that once was garden and life in Porterville.of Elephant's Eye on False Bay
(If you mouse over teal blue text, it turns seaweed red. Those are my links.
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