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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: 'Lufkin Red' and 'Lufkin White' winter-hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus x laevis All.)

Author
item Pounders, Cecil

Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 25, 2012
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Citation: Pounders Jr, C.T. 2013. 'Lufkin Red' and 'Lufkin White' winter-hardy hibiscus (Hibiscus x laevis All.). HortScience. 48(2):237-238.

Interpretive Summary: The Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, has released Hibiscus laevis ‘Lufkin Red’ and ‘Lufkin White’, two new hardy native ornamental hibiscus. These cultivars are recommended for trial by gardeners and horticulturists as summer flowering perennial landscape plants nationwide, but selections are particularly adapted to conditions in the South. Plants have exceptional flowers and outstanding disease resistant foliage. The form and scale of the selections are ideally proportioned for inclusion as a component of perennial borders and gardens. Plants develop rapidly in containers and, in addition to leaf-spot resistance, display good tolerance to other common pests. Ultimate plant size is dependent on container size and environmental conditions with plants in a #3 nursery pot growing to 2 feet high x 1 foot wide within 3 months under optimum conditions. Under landscape conditions plants should mature to approximately 4 feet high x 5 feet wide. Plants die to ground level each winter and build a large multi-stemmed clump after several seasons of regrowth.

Technical Abstract: USDA ARS announces the release of ‘Lufkin Red’ and ‘Lufkin White’ winter-hardy native hibiscuses.Both clones have desirable horticultural traits in combination with demonstrated high levels of field resistance to the leaf spot complex that is problematic on winter-hardy hibiscus clones in areas with warm nights and high humidity. Plants of ‘Lufkin Red’ are semi-compact, upright spreading with abundant production of red (Red-Purple58A) flowers of moderate size (10-15cm) with a small white , then red swath of color at the base of each petal which is not visible from a distance. Flowers often are cupped on cool mornings but open flat by noon. This cultivar is very fertile with abundant seed pods produced from insect pollination. Flowering is stimulated by removal of the seed pods. Leaves are slightly smaller than typical H. laevis, but retain the war club three-lobed shape. Ultimate plant size is dependent on container size and environmental conditions with plants in a #3 nursery pot growing to 0.7 m high x 0.4 m wide within 3 months after spring planting under optimum conditions. Under landscape conditions, plants should mature to 1.6 m high x 1.3 m wide. Plants die to ground level each winter and build a large multi-stemmed clump after several seasons of regrowth which may result in slightly larger plants as the root system matures. Plants of ‘Lufkin White’ are semi-compact, upright spreading with prolific production of near-white pink-blushed (Red-Purple 69D) flowers of moderate size (8-10cm) 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. Flowers often are cupped on cool mornings but open flat by noon. Insect pollination results in copious ornamental brown lantern shaped seed pods if pods are not removed to stimulate additional flowering. Plants in a #3 nursery pot grow to 0.6 meters high x 0.3 meters wide within 3 months when properly nurtured. Under landscape conditions, plants should mature to approximately 1.2 m high x 1.5 m wide. Plants die to ground level each winter and build a large multi-stemmed clump after several seasons.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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