Pronounciation: Al-yo-GEE-ne hue-gel-EE-i
Landscape Use: Spring flowering specimen accent for oasis and xeric landscape gardens.
Form & Character: Upright and open, sometimes sprawling, informal, subtle, subtropical.
Growth Habit: Tender, evergreen, short-lived perennial shrub with a deterministic growth pattern each growing season to 4 to 8 feet in height with an equal spread. In Phoenix, lilac hibiscus growth rate is strongly enhanced by supplemental water.
Foliage/Texture: New growth densely pubescent to green and lightly pubescent when mature, divided in three to five lobes with irregular margins, lobate to toothed, strongly veined, lobes are coarse in shape, 2 inches in length; medium texture.
Flowers & Fruits: Large and colorful lilac blue flowers at terminal and axillary meristems, 1 to 2 per meristem, petals lilac blue, but sometimes white and cream to pink and mauve, petals slightly overlapping, each flower contains a 5-stared pistil that is superjacent to yellow anthers; fruit a 9 to 13-valved mericarp.
Seasonal Color: In Phoenix, lilac hibiscus flowers in early spring.
Temperature: Heat loving! But freeze sensitive, though this is not a problem in most of Phoenix these days thanks to the well documented and studied urban heat island.
Light: Full sun
Soil: Tolerant, but prefers a light, sandy well-drained soil.
Watering: Infrequent to regular especially during summer means slightly drought tolerant.
Pruning: Head back after flowering.
Propagation: Softwood and semi-hardwood cuttings.
Disease and pests: None in the desert climate of Phoenix, though scale and aphids have been reported to be problematic on lilac hibiscus when grown along the southern and central coast of California in a more maritime Mediterranean climate.
Additional comments: Lilac hibiscus is a wonderful mostly herbaceous flowering accent plant for oasis and xeric gardens in Phoenix. Lilac hibiscus flowers stand out strikingly against a relatively sparely branched and open canopy. There are several recognized cultivated varietal selections that have different flower colors. Alyogyne (once Hibiscus) is a genus of four species from Australia.