Sunday, November 08, 2009

Alyogyne huegelii 'Mood Indigo'

Alyogyne huegelii 'Mood Indigo' | Blue Hibiscus, Lilac Hibiscus, Purple Hibiscus

Alyogyne are found in South and Western Australia. Along with the naturally occuring species, there are a number of commercial selections available in Australia, some are also available in California. Alyogyne are openly branched shrubs, varying in height from 1.5 to 3.5m. These are beautiful yet durable shrubs for Mediterranean climate gardens.

'Mood Indigo' has deeply lobed leaves and deep violet-blue flowers, perhaps the darkest purple color to be found on any of the malvaceae. Alyogyne require well drained soil and can survive with moderate water once established. Hardy to around 6.5°C (20° F), Alyogyne are sensitive to phosphorus fertilzer, poor drainage and are short lived in subtropical wet summer areas.

Historical Reference: It is impossible to compare this very handsome Hibiscus with our figure of Hibiscus grossulariæfolius (Bot.Mag.t.4329) without considering it, save in the colour of the flowers, specifically the same, but varying in the colour of the flower. So again the Hibiscus Wrayæ of Dr. Lindley (Bot. Reg.1840,t.69) is quite identical, even in the colour of its flowers, with Hibiscus grossulariæfolius. Both these and several other supposed species, as may be seen by the above list of synonyms, Mr. Bentham has, I do not doubt correctly, referred to Endlicher's H. Huegelii. But among the five varieties he has enumerated the present does not seem to be included, perhaps because, depending on colour, the dried specimens do not exhibit the peculiar differences: in the figures above quoted the petals are of an almost uniform dull purplish-blue colour, here deep rose, paler below, and each petal with a black-blood-coloured spot on the claw. All the varieties inhabit the Swan River settlement and the south-west coast of Australia. We owe the possession of our plant (which flowered in August, 1853) to Mr. Thomson, of Ipswich.

   Curtis's botanical magazine, Volume 89
   Authors: Sir William Jackson Hooker, Royal Horticultural Society (Great Britain).
   Published by Reeve Brothers, 1863