The Purplest Blue - Alyogyne huegelii

 |Alyogyne huegelii floral detail|

|Alyogyne huegelii floral detail|

There is something so calming about this purplish-blue color.  It reminds me of the color of a sunset sky just before the sun sets and the sky fades dark filling itself with stars.  Tissue-like petals radiate like rich, luxurious fabrics from a contrasting pistol adorned with gold dust pollen grains and snow white stamens.  The look is very simple yet dreamily debonair.  The source of this exciting elegance is Alyogyne huegelii (pronounced: al-ly-oh-GY-nee) also referred to as the Blue Hibiscus or Lilac Hibiscus.

 |Alyogyne huegelii floral profile|

|Alyogyne huegelii floral profile|

I had never seen Alyogyne huegelii until I moved to California some years ago.  I grew up in the Midwest where hibiscus flowers are considered to be super exotic. When I saw my first Blue Hibiscus in flower I was spellbound.  What color!  What texture!  A flower that you'd only expect to see in some sort of wonderland. The petals looking like a purplish-blue lagoon of loveliness.  Its beauty just washes over you.

 |Alyogyne huegelii flower + foliage + form|

|Alyogyne huegelii flower + foliage + form|

Alyogyne huegelii comes to us from southern and western Australia.  It's a fast growing evergreen shrub that can grow up to 8 feet tall and wide.  It's an upright grower and sports cool looking deeply lobed fuzzy foliage.  It tends to have an open, airy habit.  To promote lush, shrubby growth give it a good pruning once its initial flowering finishes up.  This not only promotes denser growth but makes this shrub even more floriferous.  Alyogyne huegelii's individual flowers last only one day, opening in the morning and fading at night, however, this shrub produces so many flowers that you really don't take notice of fleeting blooms.

To grow this gorgeous, glam rock superstar of hibiscus flowers give it full sun, well-draining soil, and regular to low water. It's hardy to about 25 degrees fahrenheit/-3 degrees celsius.  This sumptuous siren of flowers also comes in varying colors of violet, blue, rose, and pure white. Look for them.  Love them.  Let their flowers wash you away into a colorful paradise.