Yesterday I had my first blossom on a twice transplanted Hibiscus aculeatus. I originally found this Florida native plant growing in sandy soil at my family’s place on the Suwanee river. It’s first location when I brought it back was too shady for blooming so while it was still dormant in the early spring this year I moved it to a spot in my backyard that is the definition of “full sun.”
I’ve read that the plant in a seemingly contradictory manner is drought tolerant but prefers moist soil. I think this explains why it thrives on the banks of the Suwanee. The river will have a flood stage and once it recedes the sandy soil on the bank will be quite dry. This is why I thought the plant would be well suited for my yard. Florida has been experiencing a drought lately just as many other places in the south this year. I hope the La Nina transition to neutral spells some hope for us. To keep my pineland hibiscus (as well as my fig tree and wax myrtle) alive in the sand during this trying time I’ve resorted to a daily bucket of AC condensation, which if these blossoms are any indication has served the plants quite well.
I’ve been amazed at the ability of these native plants to become little ecosystems, toward the end of the video you’ll see a beautiful little spider in the lower right corner. My best guess is that he’s currently living off of the ants you see crawling around the blossom at the beginning of the video. Perhaps an animation utilizing this species will be in the cards next year.