When Leaves Come First

There are few pleasures that gardeners look forward to more than the first flowers of spring. After the bloom fades, all that's left is the foliage. However, the foliage can come in an endless array of colors.

'Haight Ashbury'

Gardeners prize hibiscus for the flamboyant flowers that appear in mid- to late summer, but some varieties are also noted for foliage. One of the most versatile is 'Red Shield' (H. acetosella), which has an upright bushy habit and deep maroon foliage. New in 2007, the aptly named 'Haight Ashbury' has deeply lobed leaves in a kaleidoscope of white, pink, green and burgundy hues. These hibiscus are grown as annuals in most areas and are effective in containers or mixed borders.

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