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.