Hibiscus syriacus Sugar Tip (‘America Irene Scott’).
Basically, this is a prettily variegated hardy hibiscus with prolific soft pink double flowers and it has four main features going for it.
Firstly, the variegated foliage is neat and soft greyish green in color with an irregular, but neat, creamy white margin so even if the plant never flowered it would still be attractive.
Secondly, the soft rosy pink flowers, each with a crimson stain at the base of the petals, are double and don’t set seed so they last longer than single-flowered varieties.
Thirdly, unlike ‘Purpurea Variegata’, it actually flowers and, unlike ‘Meehanii’, also variegated, the flowers and foliage make a prettily harmonious combination.
Finally we’ve had our plant in the garden here in Pennsylvania for about ten years and it’s reached about 10ft/3m in height. But its narrow, upright growth means that it’s only about 5ft/1/5m wide at most – so it doesn’t cast too much shade on the plants around it and fits well into a small space. I’ll have to get one for our British garden.
Hibiscus syriacus Sugar Tip (‘America Irene Scott’) is a variegated sport of the old classic ‘Lady Stanley’ (introduced in 1861) and was found by Sharon Gerlt on her nursery in Independence, MO in 2001.
Hibiscus syriacus Sugar Tip is currently available by mail order in the UK only from Gardening Express.
Hibiscus syriacus Sugar Tip is currently available retail in North America in the Proven Winners and Monrovia retail ranges and by mail order from Garden Crossings and from Nature Hills.
Image courtesy of Proven Winners - www.provenwinners.com