Sunday, June 3, 2012

Hibiscus dasycalyx – Neches River Hibiscus

Hibiscus dasycalyx - Neches River hibiscus, Neches River rosemallow

Hibiscus dasycalyx, the Neches River hibiscus, is an endangered hibiscus that naturally occurs in the floodplains of the Angelina, Neches, and Trinity rivers in eastern Texas. There are only about 500–600 plants in the wild and wild populations are threatened by habitat destruction and genetic contamination with the closely related Hibiscus laevis. It is sparingly cultivated and is easily grown from seeds or cuttings in continually moist soil in very light shade or full sun. Its cultivation in South Florida is complicated due to the plant being severely attacked by the Sri Lanka weevil (Myllocerus undatus). The adult weevils cause extensive feeding damage to the leaves and the subterranean larvae feed on the roots.

Image and text © 2012 Rufino Osorio

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