Over the years seeds sometimes find a way into my pockets. The whole Hibiscus thing started in 2002 - my records indicate that seeds from a tall, yellow flowered Hibiscus called Abelmoschus manihot (aka Sunset Hibiscus) entered my collection. Some mention it looks like an Okra plant flower - I suppose it does. It winters over fine for me; at first I grew it in a large container, which I brought into the garage over the winter. Aside from its beautiful butter yellow flat flowers with a deep red center, it is notable for the extremely sharp, painful hairs that cover the green seed pods and stems...they are like fiberglass - and I've learned to handle the plant carefully. We also have a container with a lovely dark red hibiscus that must be a sterile hybrid; it doesn't set seed pods, and some small worms just feasted on its foliage.
I added a lovely red flowered, very tall specimen, Hibiscus coccineus (Swamp Hibiscus) to the collection that same year from seed pods growing on a plant in a friend's yard - the leaves look like a rather magical plant that is finding great interest in Washington and Colorado, shall we say. It hasn't blossomed yet, but should any day now. Seeds of a white version - White Texas Star - were given to me at Monticello by a tomato friend Rodger in 2010 - it is also spectacular...I have no idea where it will pop up this year.
Two came into my collection from kayaking in Falls Lake and paddling up to plants with seed pods - I believe it is Swamp Mallow, Hibiscus moscheutos - we've often seen the white one in or at the edge of the lake...but a few years ago when paddling with my daughter I spotted one growing on land with pink flowers. Yes, seeds ended up in my life vest....I've got two different versions growing this year.
Sure, I love to grow tomatoes - all vegetables, and lots of different flowers. For whatever reason, I've been captivated by these beautiful, easy to grow carefree specimens of hibiscus that sneaked their way into my collection through the years.