One story of the Confederate rose is that it was in bloom during a particularly bloody battle of the Civil War. A slain soldier fell beside a Confederate rose, and his blood spilled into the ground at the base of shrub. The flowers, which had started out white in the morning, absorbed the slain soldier's blood throughout the day, so that by evening they had turned a deep, rosy red.
HIBISCUS Perennial – Sun to Part Shade
Confederate rose is H. mutabilis
HABIT: Hibiscus are available as annuals or perennials and in many colors. Blooms all summer. The tropicals which act as annuals here are the most colorful but the hardy perennials Rose Mallow H. moscheutos are beautiful and will usually overwinter. Texas Star is H. coccineus. ‘Frisbee,’ ‘Southern Bell,’ and ‘Marsh’ are excellent perennial cultivars.
CULTURE: Confederate rose does best in rich, well-drained but moist soil and full sun. However, it is highly adaptable and will perform reasonably well in almost any soil as long as it drains well. It is well worth growing even if you cannot provide the conditions for maximum performance. Some blooms will be produced in partial shade, and the plant is tolerant of a wide range of soils. Even though it appreciates regular watering, it can get by with much less and is even drought tolerant in good soil. During the summer it spends growing and producing strong woody stems and big, tropical-looking leaves. Rounded buds begin appearing about August, and in September or October and until frost. Flowers form on new growth so fertilize regularly. Native to the southern USA.
In frost-free areas, Confederate rose blooms throughout the winter. In places that have light frosts, the leaves are shed, but they sprout again from sturdy, undamaged stems in spring. In areas with prolonged cold periods and frequent heavy frosts, the stems are killed to the ground, but the plant re-grows from hardy roots the following spring.
USES: Summer flower color for beds and pots. Height: 15 feet tall Width: 10 feet Large shrub or small multi-stemmed tree capable.
Flowers: Large, deeply lobed 5- to 7-inch leaves are attractive throughout the summer. Following the bloom, a seed capsule forms that looks like a cotton ball, dries and yields its fuzzy seeds.
Problems: Confederate rose can be plagued by insect pests such as white flies, scale insects, weevils, and caterpillars.