Count Your Blessings!

With love and passion, everyone can have a nice garden...Elaine Yim

Count Your Blessings!
Count The Garden By The Flowers, Never By The Leaves That Fall.
Count Your Life With Smiles And Not The Tears That Roll.
..... Author unknown.

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Malaysian Flora USDA Zone 11
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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Cooperi Alba' - A Hibiscus Chimera I Almost Murdered!

This is a collage of the photos I took of the hibiscus chimera that I almost murdered. It was my first ever hibiscus plant at My Nice Garden.

I went looking for Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Brilliant Red' which is our National Flower, the Bunga Raya. The nursery owner gave me this. I was assured that it is indeed Bunga Raya.

“Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Cooperi Alba' - A Hibiscus Chimera I Almost Murdered!”, a copyrighted post, was written for My Nice Garden blog by Autumn Belle @ on August 20th, 2011.

Scientific name: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Cooperi Alba'
Common name: Snow Queen, Checkered Hibiscus, Sir Daniel Cooper's Hibiscus
Family: Malvaceae
Origin: Unknown

The flowers are a shade of crimson red, not brilliant red. The petals are arranged in such a way that they remind me of a garden wind propeller.
I am amazed by the leaf patterns of this hibiscus. Instead of the usual uniform green colour, there is a mix of white, red, pink, burgundy and green in different combinations.

In certain branches, the leaves are variegated dark green, light green and cream which reminds me of snow, ice and cream, perhaps ice-cream too.

Sometimes, I think the patterns look like those of army camourflage uniforms.
As for the flower buds, the calyx and epicalyx are pale green to cream coloured.

In this section, it is a mixture of white, burgundy, red, pink and green.

The young stems and leaf stalks are deep red. They are not green!

At first, I could not appreciate the beauty of my hibiscus chimera. I didn't understand why the leaves were coloured so. I thought it was because of lack of sunlight or nutrients. But, the more sun it gets, the more colourful it became. Even with fertilizers, it continued with the variation in colours but I wanted a consistent  green. 

So I decided to cut it down and send it to my quarantine area cum plant 'mortuary', waiting for it to die a natural death and then get dried up for easy disposal. But it didn't die, even after a few months of no food and water from me.

Meanwhile, after knowing more about this plant and looking back at the pictures I took before I hacked it down, I began to appreciate its uniqueness and beauty. I realised what I am going to loose! So I am trying to revive the half-dead plant now. This is how it looks like in the most recent photo. Now I want more variegation in the leaves but the leaves look more like uniform green :(

Do you have any suggestions how to get more colour variegation?
Wish me luck!

Andrea wrote about chimeras in her post here.
This is my entry for Fertilizer Friday, thanks to Glenda of Tootsie Time, the link is here.
This is also my entry for Today's Flowers, the link is here.


  1. All the best, AB! They look beautiful. I added a few more hibiscus plants to my collection. All of them have several flowers; it's a pretty sight to see them in bloom. Check my blog page for the latest additions. Good weekend to you!

  2. It looks like it is bouncing back to life!

  3. Even the leaves are just as beautiful as the flowers. Beleaf in the leaves.

  4. Beautiful foliage. I love variegated. It will come back well for you. Let that foliage grow. :)
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  5. Aah but those leaves were wonderful! Hope they come back in all their glory.

    I like blogs to load fast. I don't like to wait for pictures to load. And I especially don't like to, wait, for a header, to load, when I have come to a familiar blog to read the latest post. So I have deliberately made my header small and quick. There are more photos on the Why Elephant's Eye Page.

  6. Yes, I do like those foliage... interesting colors, really...

  7. I love variegated foliage. I grow a lot of Coleus in pots. That Hibiscus is spectacular! Good luck reviving the plant!

  8. I love the lovely variegated leaves as much as the bright flower especially the reddish ones. Autumn Belle you wanted ulam raja seeds? Please write me your address to my email displayed on my blog ok.

  9. I love it when plants have stories.

  10. Beautiful assortment of plants♥

  11. the leaves are as beautiful as the flower.:p hibiscus is a persistent plant, i'm sure it will grow back soon.

  12. Beautiful - I've only seen hibiscus in Cyprus.

  13. Lovely, very pretty greenery also. Great information too. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Beautiful leaves! I hope it grows and gets variegated for you again. I'm sure it will in time. Glad it's such a tough plant!

  15. Beautiful leaves! I think it will bounce back to varigated type soon!

  16. I've typed my comments here last Saturday maybe more than 5X, all of them not published as our laptop at home has very sensitive keys, evaporating the comment suddenly! Grrr! I have this one since i started college, got the stem from the university. It just died last year due to the long dry season which killed 6 fruit trees. Now we have the fully green leaves, which you like. But i love this variegated type than the green. I actually took some photos of the flowers. Happy "Malaysia Day"

  17. To me plants with variegated leaves are more appealing than plain green leaves.

    It looks like it will survive but it seems it heard your original wish and doesn't want to be 'killed' again so now its producing just plain green...LOL

    I'm thinking it will revert to its original state once it has completely recovered.

  18. What a lovely plant! I am always grateful for a plant that gives me lovely blooms and also has interesting foliage.

  19. Fantastic shots of the leaves' variegation, A. Belle! Frankly, I'm a sucker for variegated leaves... green is so common!

  20. Now I know the technical name of this Bunga Raya which I purchase a few weeks ago. Its exactly the same as yours. Redish leaf and red flowers. Nice.


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