Friday, June 05, 2009

Lagunaria patersonii 'Royal Purple'

Lagunaria patersonii 'Royal Purple' | Norfolk Island Hibiscus

Lagunaria is known by a variety of common names, including Queensland Pyramid Tree, Cow Itch Tree, Norfolk Island Hibiscus, Whitewood, and Primrose Tree. It is a pyramidal-shaped tree, growing to 15m in height (50 ft). The leaves are gray-green and the flowers range from a pale pink to an almost purple color. For more detailed information on Lagunaria, see this sites entry for: Lagunaria patersonii

'Royal Purple' has rosy-purple flowers. The actual color is difficult to capture with a camera --the photos may appear a bit too pink depending on your monitor. As the flower ages, the color darkens to a true purple. Lagunaria has been introduced into the United States and can be found along the California coast as well as the inland valleys. Lagunaria 'Royal Purple' can be difficult to find, and at this time I am not aware of it being offered comercially in the U.S.

Historical Information: The genus was named in honour of Andres de Laguna (d. 1560), a Spanish botanist (and physician to Pope Julius III), and the species in honour of a Colonel W. Paterson who first sent the seeds of the species to England.