Merveilleux Hibiscus © version 2005
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HIBISCUS rosa sinensis in the world,
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HIBISCUS rosa sinensis in Europe
It is particularly difficult to determine when the hibiscus was introduced into Europe, most probably before the XVII° century. We know it was illustrated in 1678 by Van Reede and we found traces of its introduction in England in the Chelsea Physic Garden in 1731. Nevertheless an Italian source describes it in 1546. However following new studies it is possible to think the hibiscus were already introduced into Moorish gardens in the south of Spain since the XIII ° century. In the XIX° Century, the sources are numerous and it is not rare to find, in the first catalogues of the producers, the mention of the hibiscus rosa sinensis. They are generally the very traditional cultivars with double flowers which are mentioned.
Since 1950 the traces of literature are more numerous. We have to wait until the beginning of the 1960's to see the first intensive culture in Denmark and the Netherlands thereafter. Thanks to the use of growth regulators a new form of product, a more compact production is developed which allows for the adaptation of the hibiscus at home. The Dutch research centers began research work of improvement and hybridization.
From 1971 the first European cultivars were offered to growers. Many cultivars would be proposed until the middle of the1980's. Later on the Dutch research centers will cease work on the hibiscus and it is necessary to wait until 1997 when new selections began to appear thanks to the initiative of a producers' cooperative.
To have a look at the Dutch cultivars click on this link NL
In parallel the Danish producers introduced cultivars of various origins of which the most popular would be Week-End. Currently a large collection remains with the specialists and marketing rests on the idea that the hibiscus is a plant for life. A successfull idea to explain the durability of hibiscus rosa-sinensis.
To have a look at the Danish cultivars click on this link DK
In France, the hibiscus was developed in the 70's, you can find traces of the various cultivars of the author by perusing the pages of this site, by clicking on "another pages" you should find recent photos. Currently varietal search is intensified by several private initiatives and it is possible to see new cultivars.The propagation and the diffusion of the exotic cultivars in collections remains very limited.
In Germany, while production has made great strides, the varietal research workseems to remain very localized and has not spread much. Some sources do make it possible to find exotic cultivars for collection.
In Belgium, the production begins in this XXI° century, the essentials ressources are coming from northern countries and america.
The Italian production is structured on two types of plants: A range of plants in pots of the classic type looking like the productions of the North of Europe and the tendency also to produce stronger plants intended for the garden. Cultivars are those of the European market.
More in the South, particularly in Sicily, a production of strong plants in bundle, on stalks, integrates the cultivars of American and Australian origin. These plants are essentially transplanted because they are intended in gardens
where they stay all year long. In this technique of grafting the interest lies in the use of rootstocks possessing a strong rustic character, offering so a better resistance as to the cold as to the hot season. To have a look at the Italians cultivars click on this link IT (under construction)
In Spain and Portugal , the production grows up strongly, in appearence the growers use only the european ressources dispite some initiatives begin to come up. To Spanish sites click SP (under construction)
The market of hibiscus extend with the entrance of new European countries, its the production doesn't seems to be well establissed. The other european sources are unknown or not verified. Readers having more information are welcome to share their informations sources. On this purpose click on the page contacts.
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