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Star-Bulletin Features


Friday, June 7, 2002


art
HUI KU MAOLI OLA
The petals of the Hibiscus Koki'o are so vivid, they almost seem flourescent.




IN THE GARDEN: HIBISCUS KOKI'O

Latin name: Hibiscus Kokio,
subspecies St. Johnianus


By Rick Barboza

The Hibiscus St. Johnianus is a highly variable plant with flower colors ranging from dark orange-red to bright orange-yellow and even pure yellow, which is extremely rare.

Description: This is a gorgeous shrub that is generally 3 to 10 feet tall. It has dark glossy leaves with reddish petioles that connect them to the stem.

The most distinguishing characteristic is its beautiful flowers. By far the most striking of hibiscus, the Hibiscus St. Johnianus has bright orange-red flowers that are so vivid, they look fluorescent.

Distribution: This rare endemic plant is only found in the coastal valleys of Northwestern Kauai.

Landscape use: Whether used as a hedge or specimen plant, the Hibiscus St. Johnianus makes a wonderful addition to any garden.

It responds very well to pruning and requires little water once established.


Rick Barboza co-owns Hui Ku Maoli Ola, a native Hawaiian
plant nursery, with Matt Schirman. "In the Garden" is a Friday
feature about flora, written by field experts.


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