Plant of the Week is written by Jane Beggs-Joles
August.It's warm - perfect for beaches and barbecue. And Hibiscus syriacus.
|Pink Chiffon® H. syriacus habit|
Pink Chiffon® H. syriacus is a delightful plant, charming even those of us who aren't partial to the color. The large blooms hit just the right part of pink: bright enough to stand out in the garden yet not disruptive.
|Pink Chiffon® H. syriacus bloom|
Like other H. syriacus, Pink Chiffon® grows best in full sun. It will get 8-12' tall and 6-10' wide, and is hardy to USDA Zone 5. It is one of several outstanding varieties brought to us by plant breeder Dr. Roderick Wood. His selections all have large, unique flowers and a full, graceful habit. They are much more appealing in containers than older varieties.
In addition to having abundant late summer flowers, rose-of-Sharon is a durable plant that will tolerate some challenging conditions. Heat, drought, clay soil - even deer in most areas don't bother it.
Get ready to celebrate!August 18 is this Sunday, and it's a day to celebrate. Why? I'll give you two good reasons: it's the day U.S. women gained the right to vote in 1920, and it's the anniversary of the first plant patent! Wow!
The first plant patent was issued to New Jersey resident Henry Bosenberg in 1931 for the 'New Dawn' rose. Since then, thousands of plant patents have been granted. Breeding a new plant is no different than any other creation, and protecting intellectual property like songs, books, and yes, plants, is a critical element in our economy.
As exciting as plant hunting can be, it's a lot of work. It takes time, dedication, and attention to detail. And don't you think the person who spends years breeding a better hydrangea deserves both credit and compensation?
So how will you celebrate plants and women's suffrage? Buy a lady a plant! And cake! Wine, too, if she's old enough to enjoy it. After all, you only need to be 18 to vote. And if you know a young lady who's turning 18 soon, remind her to register to vote. (Young men, too).