Thursday, November 15, 2007

Random plant event: Hibiscus acetosella 'Brown Sugar' buds

My wonderful co-worker1 has one of these at home, I guess, which she took a bunch of cuttings from in the spring, and brought in to root and sell. Then, I guess, spring happened, and was busy, and so they never actually got put out to sell even though they apparently rooted pretty easily.

Then this fall, she found the tag that went with the original plant, which identified the particular variety (Hibiscus acetosella 'Brown Sugar') but also noted that it was a patented variety, and was consequently illegal to propagate and sell. Which meant we had 32 small pots of this plant sitting around, and there wasn't anything we could really do with them. They're not a hardy variety that could be planted outside just to be decorative, we couldn't sell them, and there was way too much of it there for any one of us to take it home as a houseplant. (Plus, wonderful co-worker2 has more plants than I do, and isn't necessarily looking to get more of them, and especially not more of something she already has.)

So I wound up taking four of these home, and potted them together. WCW had told me before I did so that this particular variety wasn't all that satisfactory to her anyway, that it had a serious tendency toward legginess, and it wasn't a strong flowerer either, so pretty much the foliage was all there was to get excited about. Which was fine with me. I like foliage.

But now: buds.

I have no real idea what to expect. The plants at work (granted, a different species and all that) like to sit on their buds without doing anything at all3 for extended periods, before the flower actually forms. So there could still be a lot of time for things to go wrong here. But nevertheless, it looks like I've got two stems with three pending flowers apiece, which seems like a lot, for as small as it is, and not being a strong flowerer. There will be updates, of course, and pictures, eventually.

Just in case anybody was wondering: I'm not actually intending "random plant event" to mean "something just flowered" every time I use it. It's just that that's what all the recent plant events have been.


Photo credits: me.

1 (Still not sarcasm.)
2 (Henceforth, "WCW," because that's a lot to type otherwise.)
3 (I myself like to sit around on my bud for a while when I get home from work.) (People say they don't like puns, but I choose not to believe this.)


Laura said...

I know this is MANY years later but thank you so much for posting this. I have a Hibiscus Acetosella "Brown Sugar" that I bought from a local nursery many years ago; perhaps as long ago as you received this plant. We now have a small plant nursery in Florida and have been propagating and selling this as Cranberry Hibiscus (sssshhhhhh don't tell anyone LOL). Trust me, we are not making millions as this is one of perhaps 100 different plants we sell. Anyhoo, I've been worried lately we didn't have a "real" Hibiscus acetosella, so I've been doing massive research for the past three days. Thank you for posting and saying it is so.

tuccub said...


mr_subjunctive said...


Sorry, I haven't had this plant since late 2007.