Friday, April 16, 2010

Hibiscus schizopetalus - Japanese Lantern

This fantastic arching shrub comes from tropical East Africa and is also known as the Coral Hibiscus, the Skeleton Hibiscus and the Chinese Lantern.

It is a fascinating plant and takes little effort to grow in a tropical garden.  It's an unusual hibiscus as its form is more akin to a weeping tree than a shrub.  The slender stems grow tall and upright quite rapidly and will reach around 2 metres and then arch over to form what could be best described as a pendulous canopy.


I have two of these shrubs growing on the hill driveway side of the pergola out in my courtyard garden.  They are planted at either end of the pergola and have now spread over half of the pergola which measures around 5 metres by 5 metres.  The top of the pergola acts as a support for the long pendulous arching stems.

Here you can see the Japanese Lantern at one end of the pergola spreading it drooping stems over the hill driveway.


This photo is taken looking up the hill driveway and it gives some idea of just how tall the upright stems get before they begin to arch.  The stems can be seen up against the corner of the pergola.


This shrub blooms sporadically all year long and the flowers are a real highlight.  I would say they are unequalled in their deeply dissected form. 


The delicate red flowers look a bit like a parachute or a chandelier... or like a Japanese Lantern!!!  They are rather distinctive with their frilly petals and long slender stamen.




I love the effect as they dangle from the top of the pergola like almost like a decoration out in the courtyard garden.  This is another of my favourite plants that's so suitable for a dry tropics garden or any tropical garden.


29 comments:

  1. I just posted this hibiscus in my blog. I had heard the name Skeleton Hibiscus, now I know the other names as well. It is a lovely shrub and I really love how it is growing at your place. You really have a tropical paradise there. Great pictures of this neat looking hibiscus.

    FlowerLady

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  2. Thanks for dropping by Flowerlady ... it's nice to know there's someone else growing this beauty. It's not a common plant around here.

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  3. What an unusual but pretty bloom. I love plants that cascade and provide beauty and some shade. :)

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  4. That's a beautiful bloom. It does hang down, like a lantern. I love to learn about different plants.....even, if they won't live here.
    Thanks for sharing.
    ~~Linda...

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  5. Thanks for visiting Perennialgardener and Patchwork ... I'm glad I could introduce you to this lovely shrub and its flowers.

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  6. I would love to walk pass this driveway. I can imagine it to be so lovely to find flowers above me :-D The hibiscus in my garden only last for one day. What about this variety? Does it last longer than one day?

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  7. It is just lovely. I can see why it is sometimes called Japanese Lantern. I have to see if they will grow here :-)

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  8. aloha bernie,

    i'm so impressed with this lovely shrub, it is so showy and so easy to maintain. thanks for sharing that with us and have a great weekend!

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  9. It does look like a Chinese lantern! The shape is so unique and pretty, and the color really stands out. Thanks for sharing.

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  10. These 'lanterns' look lovely on the pergola, especially when they are hanging overhead. My lates 2 posts are about hibiscus too.

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  11. What a stunning bloom. That color is gorgeous and they really do look like decorations hanging in your courtyard.

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  12. Bernie, I nearly always learn something new here, and it's a real pleasure when the post introduces me to some exotic wonder I could never have conjured in my wildest imagination. :) I'm a big fan of plain old scarlet hibiscus anyway, for their loveliness and their association with Lord Ganesh, who fascinates me.

    Your garden looks well-lit by these lanterns of fiery beauty!

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  13. Its my favourite hibiscus for its ease of care and cool unique look.

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  14. Thanks for your comment. The skeleton Hibiscus looks so delicate and graceful dangling over the pergola and driveway. I tried some years ago to grow hibiscus but it kept getting attacked by pests so I did away with it. Shame because I love them.

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  15. I like the shots....but, i adored to find the way to your blog..U take photos with the mind, the soul..and that is rare,.
    Have a nice day
    graceolsson.com/blog

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  16. OH! That skeleton hibiscus is beautiful! It really looks like a chinese/japanese lantern. How I wish to find one here.

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  17. What delightful flowers Bernie! Rather like a lantern or intricately formed glass. Great photos especially love the next to the last one.

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  18. Mmmm Bernie, I have seen this a few times on our walks around here and taken cuttings, but they have never strike. Seeing your lovely photos I think I will have another try.....

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  19. Fascinating! I've never seen that plant before. It's a show stopper with it's sci-fi form!

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  20. Aren't they pretty. I love the way they hang like lanterns.

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  21. Oh those Japanese Lanterns are beautiful! I miss having a garden (I live in a flat at the moment)and look forward to seeing more of yours. Thanks for stopping by 3 Sisters, 365. Your comment was so lovely.

    Holly
    x

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  22. Hi good day ! nice post you have . It's very nice , I have plan to setting up my garden can you give me an idea or steps on how to make it beautiful. i have heard some garden accessories such as wind garden spinners , wind chimes , and many more . I want to try this things in my garden but i don't know how to get the right accessories . I hope you can help me . thank you .

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  23. Oh wow, I'm going to have to stock this plant in our nursery, it's a stunner!

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  24. You must be a great gardener cos it is really beautiful!!! I have bought a small plant of the hibiscus and now I'm expecting for the first flowers. Unfortunately I can't grow it in my garden because of the climate, but I hope one day it will be as big as Yours in my greenhouse:)

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  25. So happy to find your post. We had one of these on a clients project many years ago in Palm Beach and were madly in love with it. We tried for years to find another one to augment it with but no nursery could ever find one. This was before internet, obviously! In Florida again today and was thinking about this plant and decided to try to track it down again. It is most spectacular when it can be planted so that it arches over a pathway so that the blooms hang down overhead. It's really a jewel this plant.

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  26. Beautiful and looks so good in your garden. Are then any West Aussies who could point me to where I might find a plant for sale in WA? Cheers David

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    1. Wishing you the best of luck finding a plant for sale. It's a beautiful Hibiscus and well worth growing. It's a shame I can't send you a slip cutting as I've done with other Aussie gardeners.

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    2. Hi Bernie, thank you for the kind thought, the WA garden prevention police (Ag Dep't) do indeed make my life difficult however after a shout out to https://www.facebook.com/WA-Hibiscus-Society-152056489079/?fref=nf I should soon have this exquisite gem in my garden. I have long admired this Hibiscus so thank you for for bringing it to the top of my must have list.
      Cheers
      David

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    3. That is good news. I know you'll love this plant. Mine blooms pretty much all year round and the long arching branches cover quite a large space. It looks fabulous out next to my pergola.

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