Thursday, December 11, 2008

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis 'Lillian Wilder'
'Lillian Wilder' is an early Hawaiian hybrid, a cross between 'Beatrice' and what was known as Knudsen White. This beauty is fast growing, often forming a tree to 25 or 30 feet in height. The flower is up to 7 inches wide, delicate pink petals with darker veins and a crimson eye. 'Lillian Wilder' is incorrectly known as 'Apple Blossom' in Australia. 

Note: Early on, Hibiscus arnottianus was hardly ever known by its species name in Hawaii, and is still known as ‘Wilder’s White' in Australia. 'Knudsen White' was more than likely a form of Hibiscus waimeae.

An article in the Society section of the Honolulu Star Bulletin dated January 16th, 1915 stated: Some years ago Mr, Gerrit Wilder, who is sometimes known as the "Hibiscus King", started a special garden at his beautiful home, Ualalaa, and he called his little plot his friends' garden. Here he planted new varieties of the hibiscus and named them after some of Honolulu's society folk. Some of the flowers that have been seen at recent functions are the  "Lillian Wilder, a pale pink blossom which Mr. Wilder named for his wife...