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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SMALL FRUIT AND ORNAMENTAL GENETIC RESEARCH FOR THE MID-SOUTH Title: 'uss Arizona' and 'uss California' Tropical Hibiscus (Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis L.)

Authors
item Pounders, Cecil
item Sakhanokho, Hamidou

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 23, 2012
Publication Date: December 23, 2012
Citation: Pounders Jr, C.T., Sakhanokho, H.F. 2012. 'USS Arizona' and 'USS California' tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L.). HortScience. 47(12):1819-1820.

Interpretive Summary: Both ‘USS Arizona’ and ‘USS California’ were selected for use as accent plants for patios, pools or other outside areas in climates with warm summers or as perennial flowering landscape shrubs in USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10. The cultivars were selected for their exceptional vibrant flowers, well-branched growth habit and environmental tolerance in hot humid summers typical of the southeastern US but should also exhibit good summer performance in areas of the country with more moderate summers. The cultivars may also be used as woody perennial plants in landscapes, as hedges, specimens and corner plants, in tropical climates in hardiness zones 9 and above. Plants should be grown in full sun but appreciate some shade in the afternoon in regions with intense summer sun. Other cultural practices for maximum flowering and plant development conform to established practices for H. rosa-sinense clones. No unusual insect and disease pests have been observed on plants growing in Poplarville, MS and Sarasota, FL., but as with any other tropical hibiscus, strict pest management programs are required during production.

Technical Abstract: Both ‘USS Arizona’ and ‘USS California’ were selected for use as accent plants for patios, pools or other outside areas in climates with warm summers or as perennial flowering landscape shrubs in USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10. The cultivars were selected for their exceptional vibrant flowers, well-branched growth habit and environmental tolerance in hot humid summers typical of the southeastern US but should also exhibit good summer performance in areas of the country with more moderate summers. Plants of ‘USS Arizona’ are dense, upright spreading with prolific production of uniform unique vibrant orange flowers (Orange Red N30A) of moderate size (10-12cm) with overlapping petals. Flowers for 2 day, then old flowers abscise freely with no production of seed pods, even when pollinated. Foliage is medium green (Green 133A) with mature leaves measuring approximately 8 x 10cm. Plants develop rapidly in containers and display good tolerance to common pests. Ultimate plant size is dependent on container size and environmental conditions with plants in a #3 nursery pot growing to 1.0 m high x 0.5 m wide within 6 months under optimum conditions. Under tropical landscape conditions plants should mature to approximately 3 m high x 1.5 m wide. Plants of ‘USS California’ are semi-compact, have an upright spreading growth habit with prolific production of yellow (Yellow 12B) flowers of moderate size (11.5-13.5cm) with a small white, then red swath of color at the base of each petal which is perceived as a small red eye in the flower (Fig. 3). Pronounced white veins in the petals give flowers a textured appearance. Flowers open for two days then fall from the plants. No production of seed pods has been observed, even after hand pollinated. Foliage is dull green (Green 138B) with leaves measuring approximately 7 x 9cm. Growth and foliage color is more stable than many other yellow-flowered H. rosa-sinensis cultivars. Plants develop rapidly in containers and display good tolerance to common pests. Ultimate plant size is dependent on container size and climatic conditions with plants in a #3 nursery pot growing to 0.8 m high x 0.4 m wide within 6 months under optimum conditions. Under tropical landscape conditions plants should mature to approximately 2.5 m high x 1.5 m wide. Plants of ‘USS Arizona’ and ‘USS California’ have not been observed under all environmental conditions. The phenotypes may display some variation with changes in environmental conditions or cultural practices such as light intensity, fertility regimens or temperature without any variance in genotypes.

Last Modified: 11/27/2014