The South’s “Rose of Fall” isn’t a “Rose at All”

Dear Reader:

Friday when I returned back home it was too dark to see anything in the garden and then yesterday morning when I first woke up…it was drizzling and gray outside.  I walked out on the deck and my mouth fell open. (When I had left Thursday there were two giant white blooms on the Confederate Rose tree and then yesterday the white blooms had turned to light pink, then dark pink, and fallen down on the ground.)

But by yesterday afternoon with the sun peeking in and out the white blooms were already turning light pink.

It really is like having a “reality” kaleidoscope that you can just keep turning around and around and each slide is better than the last one…the Confederate Rose is simply amazing….and big! My bush has grown from two feet to twelve or more in two seasons…by fall it turns into a tree.

Global warming is scary but the Confederate Rose is very happy about it…each season there are more blooms than the season before…and with frost coming later and later…the enjoyment period of watching the Confederate Rose change colors continues for quite a while.

The real name for this plant is Hybiscus mutabilis. That genus and species name is one of the reasons I am glad I took Latin. Immediately one knows this is a hibiscus family member. The species name, mutabilis, tells me something equally as interesting, for mutabilis means “variable or changeable” in Latin.

In other words this is the hibiscus that changes colors throughout the day. And it really does remind one of antebellum ladies with their layered skirts dancing on the old southern plantations in all shades of white, pink, and purple. It is a cousin to the regular hibiscus.

In one diary a Confederate widow recalls that ladies in Mobile, Alabama gave these flowers to Confederate soldiers returning home from the war.

It originally began in China but found a home in the south where there is lots of sun and semi-tropical weather.

James Farmer says:

Watch with amazement the color change of the flowers, the rapid growth of the plant itself, and even the gawks of a passerby taking a gander at your Confederate Rose. From this Farmer’s garden and father’s farm for that matter, I hope your land is graced with its very own Confederate Rose; for, “land is the only thing in the world worth workin’ for, worth fightin’ for, worth dyin’ for, because it’s the only thing that lasts.” Mr. Gerald O’Hara, Miss Scarlett’s father.

 Because the best viewing of the Confederate Rose takes place in the fall…Southern Living has named it the ‘South’s Fall Rose…while It isn’t a Rose at All.” But even a rose would have trouble competing with this beautiful hibiscus.
So until tomorrow….
Let us always be open to changing colors that reveal our true character.
“Today is my favorite day”
Winnie the Pooh
Tommy and Kaitlyn went to Clemson for the weekend to see the game. What a surprise to see their familiar faces at it! Go Tigers! Y’all have fun!
 Yesterday afternoon I had the happiest ping on my Iphone. My sweet niece, Catherine “Kitty Kat” Simpson, walked the Race for the Cure for me again in Birmingham, Alabama. She has done this several times before and it just touches my heart so much. Love you Kitty Kat!
Was I ever in for a surprise yesterday….white blossoms in the morning with some pink and by mid-afternoon all pink!
Anne said even her “baby” Confederate bush (3 ft) is filled with buds.

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to The South’s “Rose of Fall” isn’t a “Rose at All”

  1. bcparkison says:

    Simply breathtaking beautiful. Does it need support or is it a stand lone?


  2. Rachel Edwards says:

    Love this plant…need to.get one…

    On Oct 8, 2017 6:04 AM, “Chapel of Hope Stories” wrote:

    > Becky Dingle posted: ” Dear Reader: Friday when I returned back home it > was too dark to see anything in the garden and then yesterday morning when > I first woke up…it was drizzling and gray outside. I walked out on the > deck and my mouth fell open. (When I had left Thur” >


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