Hibiscus cameronii

Plant of the month: July

Hibiscus cameronii

Also known As: Cameron’s hibiscus

Native To: Madagascar

Blooms: summer to autumn

Habitat: dry and sunny regions of Madagascar

Where Found At Birmingham Botanical Gardens: Mediterranean House

Named in honour after our first curator, David Cameron (curator from 1831 to 1837). John Claudius Loudon, the designer of the garden was instrumental in recruiting David Cameron, its first Curator. He was an excellent practical grower and was responsible for implementing Loudon’s vision. The tender Hibiscus cameronii was named after him. It was first introduced into Britain in 1837; the Reverend John Angell James had received seeds from missionaries in Madagascar and donated them to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It is a soft wooded, free flowering shrub up to one metre tall with 3-7 lobed leaves. Its white to pinkish-white flowers, 10cm in diameter, have a red-purple spot at the base of the petals. It is only suitable for growing in warm climates or a warm greenhouse as it needs lots of sun and a well-drained soil to grow well. Lost in our collection for many decades, we have recently sourced the seeds again and are pleased to have it back at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Glasshouses!