Danica™ Althea – Danica™ Rose of Sharon
Hibiscus syriacus 'Variegata'
Stunning picotee flowers in abundance during the summer. Like a white carnation dipped in red ink. Dark green foliage. Fast growing to 8-10 ft high x 6-8 ft wide. Plant in full sun. Drought tolerant once established. Adaptable to most well drained soils. Cold hardy to USDA Zone 5.
This plant is special in many ways. From first leaf in spring to late October (Central California) the Danica plants are dark green whereas all others in our collection start off yellowish and need iron. Even in late October the others end up looking tired or going dormant and Danica is still a healthy green with occasional blooms. The inter-nodes are shorter, so it seems to be more compact.
As of this writing, we are looking into the new claim that the plant sets no or few seeds since the spent flowers generally drop off cleanly and so much energy goes into foliage/new flowers instead of seed. This claim needs more review since our plants are generally cut so heavily for propagation wood that we do not have full size plants to observe.
This plant came to us in a round-about way. One of our salesmen picked it up from Rainbow Gardens #3 in San Antonio in 2005 where Dan Keith recommended it. Dan got it from Tocquigny Green Gate Nursery in Sequin, Texas. Joe Tocquigny said he had a number of them in his ground for over 15-20 years and they came from the late Willis Gentry who had his own retail nurseries in South Texas and previously worked for a time at Aldridge Nursery. It is believed he collected in from extreme south Texas or Mexico. We introduced it to the trade as Danica in the December, 2010 New Products issue of American Nurseryman Magazine and put it in the 2011-2012 catalog for initial deliveries in 2012.
In every respect, this plant is a winner!
More Photos here: Danica Althea Photos
Danica Information Page: Danica Information Page