Rose Mallow ‘Midnight Marvel’ (Hibiscus moscheutos) presented me this morning with its first flower of the season. I highlighted its pale purple foliage in a 6 June 2014 Wordless Wednesday posting, and I have been looking forward to seeing it in bloom.
I planted these two last summer and was certainly pleased with their contribution to summer color in our garden. I was advised to cut them back to the ground in winter. I became a bit concerned this spring when nothing was happening around the rose mallows when everything else in the garden seemed to be up and leafing out. Finally, they began to put up new shoots, and now they stand over four feet tall.
This first blossom measures 8 1/2 inches across; I hesitate to use the word “gigantic,” but that seems appropriate in this case. Please note the cluster of buds above the flower. Each of the stalks on my pair of rose mallows has ten to twelve buds; with fifteen bud clusters it suggests that we could have up to 150 of these striking flowers filling a corner of our garden for quite some time.