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Hibiscus 'Clown'

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Kemper Code:  F440

Common Name: hardy hibiscus
Zone: 5 to 9
Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Malvaceae
Missouri Native: No
Native Range: None
Height: 3 to 4 feet
Spread: 2 to 3 feet
Bloom Time: July - September   Bloom Data
Bloom Color: Pink with fuchsia veins and red eye
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium to wet
Maintenance: Low

Plant Culture and Characteristics

Sources for this plant

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  Uses:       Wildlife:   Flowers:   Leaves:   Fruit:
Hedge Suitable as annual Attracts birds Has showy flowers Leaves colorful Has showy fruit
Shade tree Culinary herb Attracts Has fragrant flowers Leaves fragrant Fruit edible
Street tree Vegetable   hummingbirds Flowers not showy Good fall color   Other:
Flowering tree Water garden plant Attracts Good cut flower Evergreen Winter interest
Gr. cover (<1') Will naturalize   butterflies Good dried flower     Thorns or spines

General Culture:

Easily grown in average, medium to wet soils in full sun. Best in moist, organically rich soils, but does surprisingly well in average garden soils as long as those soils are not allowed to dry out. Regular deep watering is advisable. Tolerates some light shade, but full sun with good air circulation produces best flowers, strongest stems and the best environment for resisting potential diseases. Site in locations protected from wind to minimize risk of wind burn. Deadhead individual flowers to maintain plant appearance. Cut back stems to approximately 3-4" in late autumn. New growth shoots are slow to emerge in spring. However, once new growth begins, it proceeds quite rapidly and plants will benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season.

Noteworthy Characteristics:

'Clown' is a medium, vigorous, sturdy, erect but somewhat shrubby, woody-based hibiscus hybrid cultivar that typically grows to 3.5' high and features dinner plate-sized, 5-petaled, hollyhock-like flowers (to 5-9" diameter) which are among the largest flowers produced by any perennial which is hardy to the St. Louis area. Flowers are pink with fuchsia veining and dark red eyes. Each flower has a prominent central staminal column. Individual flowers last only one day, but one or more flowers usually open each day, in succession, over a long mid-summer to early fall bloom period.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spots, blights, rusts and canker. Japanese beetles, whiteflies and aphids are occasional insect visitors. Japanese beetles can severely damage foliage if left unchecked. Leaf scorch will occur if soils are allowed to dry out. Healthy plants grown in the proper environment usually do not need staking.


Excellent height for border rears. Specimen, group or mass for landscape accent. Temporary screen or tall hedge. Useful in low spots or wet areas in the landscape. Effective along streams or ponds.

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2001-2011