Hibiscus in Europe

English version

Pour une version Française, cliquez ici

It is particularly difficult to determine at which time the hibiscus was introduced into Europe, most probably in the XXVII century.

We know that it was illustrated in 1678 by Van Reede and we find traces of its introduction in England in the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1731

In the XIX° Century, the sources are numerous and it is not rare to find, in the first catalogues of the producers, the mention of the hibiscus rosa-sinensis. They are generally the very traditional cultivars with double flowers which are mentioned.

Since 1950 the traces of literature are more numerous. We have to wait until the beginning of the 1960's to see the first intensive culture in Denmark and the Netherlands thereafter. Thanks to the use of the growth regulator product, Cycocel, a new form of more compact production developed which allows for the adaptation of the hibiscus in the home.

The Dutch research centers began research work for improvement and hybridization. From 1971 the first European cultivars were offerded to growers. Many cultivars would be proposed until the middle of the1980's.
The Dutch research centers ceased work on the hibiscus until 1997 when new selections began to appear thanks to the initiative of a producers' cooperative.

To have a look at the Dutch cultivars click on this
link NL

In parallel the Danish producers introduced cultivars of various origins of which the most popular would be Week-End. Currently a large collection remains with the specialists and marketing rests on the idea that the hibiscus is a plant for life. A successfull idea to explain the durability of hibiscus rosa-sinensis.

To have a look at the Danish cultivars click on this
link DK

In France, the hibiscus developed in the 70's and you can find traces of collections by perusing the
pages of this site Currently varietal search is intensified by several private initiatives and it is plausible to admit that with the millenium new resources will exist. The multiplication and the diffusion of the exotic cultivars in collections remains very limited.

In Germany, while production has made great strides, the varietal research workseems to remain very localized and has not spread much. Some sources do make it possible to find exotic cultivars for collection.

In Spain, production is increasing rapidly and has truly made great strides. Seemingly the producers are satisfied with the European resources.

In Italy, two types of production are developing in parallel, a culture in pot with the European resources and another type of production intended for the garden where several exotic cultivars of Australian and American origins are propagated by way of grafting. In 1997 a new Italian cultivar was named " Pope Giovanni Paolo II ", which mean that some work about selection is being done.

To have a look at the Italian sources click on this Link It
The other European sources are not known or have not been checked out. Readers
who would have information on this subject will be welcome to share the sources of information. Therefore to do this go to the
Contacts page

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