When I see the word hibiscus I think of big, beautiful blooms. When I hear the words New Zealand I remember scenic flax covered coasts. But when I think of New Zealand hibiscus I feel troubled. I should have known when this hibiscus germinated so readily and grew so easily that there would be trouble. Trouble when it grew so fast and sparsely and discouraging when the flowers only lasted for one day. Twenty four hours to shine. The flowers are quite pretty, but after they disappear it’s back to the rangy looking plant. It’s not my favorite. I purchased seeds when I traveled to New Zealand last year. Out of all the plants I tried to grow from NZ, this one was the most vigorous. I’m not sure how it would fare if planted outside. I had mine in a greenhouse and after I cut them back I moved the pots outside and they didn’t make it through the winter. And now the seeds I collected are gathering dust, I don’t think this is a plant that I want to grow again. I’m waiting for seeds from my Meconopsis, that will be a good day!
Just the Facts
New Zealand Hibiscus, Puarangi
Hibiscus richarsonsii (erroneously referred to as Hibiscus trionum)
Indigenous to New Zealand north island and Australia, New South Wales.
Coastal, growing in recently disturbed habitats.
Annual to short-lived perennial up to 3 feet tall (1m)