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Formerly known as 'Blue Bird'. Sometimes called shrubby mallows, varieties of Hibiscus syriacus provide a stunning display of colour late in the season. The natural species, a native of the Middle East, has white or violet-pink flowers, and is worth growing in its own right, but it is the cultivated varieties which catch the eye. 'Oiseau Bleu' is very popular and thought to be the best single blue variety, its flowers wide and very large, violet-blue with a darker eye surrounding the white column of stamens. As with all varieties, buy larger plants because they need a few years to settle down to regular profuse flowering. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Cultivar: Oiseau Bleu
Plant type: Deciduous shrub
Flower colour: Blue
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Sandy
Skill level: Experienced
Time to take cuttings: May to July
The hibiscus syriacus is drought-resistant and disease-resistant, and has a lovely flame-shape when left unpruned. The leaves are a pleasing grey-green. Great to plant where you want plants that glow at twilight (the white variety).
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