|Abelmoschus moschatus subsp. var.||Silk Flower, Musk Mallow|
Abelmoschus moschatus (Abelmosk, Ambrette seeds, Annual hibiscus, Bamia Moschata, Galu Gasturi, Muskdana, Musk mallow, Musk okra, Musk seeds, Ornamental okra, Rose mallow seeds, Tropical jewel hibiscus, Yorka okra; syn. Hibiscus abelmoschus L.). Bushy plant about 1.5 ft. tall and wide. Has deep green, deeply cut leaves. Five-petaled, 3-4.5-in. flowers, come in cherry red or pink with white centers, resembling tropical hibiscus. Likes good soil, heat, and sunny location; blooms most profusely where summers are long and hot. Grow from seed sown outdoors as soon as ground is warm (or else start indoors 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting outdoors). Flowering begins 100 days after sowing, and goes on until frost or cold weather hits. Can be grown as indoors in a 6-in. pot where it gets bright light.
- More information about this species can be found on the genus page.
Easily grown in a rich well-drained soil in a sunny position238. Tolerates a pH in the range 6 to 7.8. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to about -5°c and can be grown outdoors in the milder areas of the country238. The plant grows as a shrub in frost-free climates but is usually cut back to the ground in British winters. So long as these winters are not too cold, however, it can usually be grown as a herbaceous perennial with new shoots being produced freely from the root-stock. These flower in the summer238. It is probably wise to apply a good mulch to the roots in the autumnk. It is best to cut back the stems to about 15cm long in the spring even if they have not been killed back by the frost238. This will ensure an abundance of new growth and plenty of flowers in the summer. The musk mallow is widely cultivated in tropical climates for its many uses238.
Seed - sow April in a greenhouse. The seed germinates best at a temperature around 24 - 24°c238. When large enough to handle, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of rich soil and plant them out after the last expected frostsk. The seed can also be sown in situ in late April in areas with warm summers. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July in a frame238.
Pests and diseases
- 'Mischief' is somewhat smaller than the species, reaching a height of 50cm238.
- 'Pacific Orange' has single orange flowers. flowers are up to 8cm (3in) across, plants are 12-15in (30-38cm) tall.
- Sunset National Garden Book. Sunset Books, Inc., 1997. ISBN 0376038608
- w:Abelmoschus moschatus. Some of the material on this page may be from Wikipedia, under the Creative Commons license.
- Abelmoschus moschatus QR Code (Size 50, 100, 200, 500)