This southeastern U.S. native was first named in the late 18th century and became popular among avid American gardeners of the day—notably William Bartram, George Washington, and Jean Skipwith of Rappahannock in Virginia. Peter Collinson of London saw a painting of the flower done by Bartram, and asked for seeds to be sent from Charleston, South Carolina.1 In spite of its early popularity, and its use in hybridizing modern hibiscus cultivars, there is little evidence that this species was commonly grown in early American gardens. Also known as “Star of Texas,” this showy perennial is suitable for border plantings, used as an accent plant, or grown in containers.

Visit Monticello’s Online Shop to check for seeds or plants of Great Red Hibiscus.

Typical Blooming Dates: July - October
Growth Type: Perennial
Color(s): Red
Hardiness Zones: 7 - 10
Location at Monticello: West Lawn Oval Bed
Planting Conditions: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Further Sources


1. Ann Leighton, American Gardens in the Eighteenth Century (Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1986), 429.