Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Fifth Dimension' came to Longwood's research greenhouses back in the late 1990’s when we were working on improving the vigor of the hibiscus display in our Rose House. I soon fell in love with this psychedelic plant! At first, it amazed me with its showy yellow flowers with silver centers. Seeing silver on a flower stopped me in my tracks immediately! It was mind altering. Closer observation of this plant expanded my awareness to an even more amazing dimension. One day I noticed that the newly opening flowers were not yellow with a silver throat, but orange with a bronze throat. Around noon, the trippy flowers morph from orange/bronze to yellow/silver. How groovy is that? It’s like having two kinds of flowers on the same plant. When I told my photographer friend, Matt, about this amazing transformation over time, he decided to do a time lapse photography shoot, to capture the color change. He did an amazing job. I hope you enjoy this video as much as I do.
You can experience the 'Fifth Dimension' in person at Longwood. The plant is on display in the Rose House and blooms throughout the year. On a side note, we were able to improve the vigor of the hibiscus in the Rose House by grafting all of our hibiscus cultivars onto the vigorous rootstock, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Pride Of Hankins'. I will let you in on a little secret: if you look closely at the hibiscus plants in the Rose House, you can see the graft union near the base of the plants. Sometimes it is a clear line across the trunk, and sometimes it is more subtle—with only bark texture designating that there are two different plants joined together.