This little-known deciduous mallow is the Japanese kissin' cousin of the Chinese Hibiscus mutabilis. For us, Hibiscus makinoi never reaches more than 7' tall, although in its native Kyushu and Ryoku Islands, it can reach 15' tall. In NC, it dies to the ground each winter, regrowing into a widely-branched plant clothed with large, fuzzy, green maple-like leaves and adorned, starting in early October, with dark pink buds that open to 4-5", large, very light pink flowers...attractive to hummingbirds. An extract from this renaissance plant is found in anti-aging creams since it triggers the creation of estrogen. Growing them in the garden sure makes me feel young!
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