Kopper King And Friends

July 5, 2009 011 (2) The above image shows a teeny tiny flower on a teeny tiny Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia fimbriata. This is a plant that was seen in a post by Nan Ondra of Hayefield. Nan is also a member of the Gardening Gone Wild group blog in addition to being a wildly popular author and all around nice person. It was included in one of her fine Three Neat Plants series. It was admired in a comment and she kindly offered seeds. Click here to read that post. July 5, 2009 009 (2) The side view shows how the nickname fits. This is a deciduous dwarf groundcover that can spread to two feet while remaining only six inches off the ground. A spiral plant stake is holding ours up off the ground for better viewing, although we still have to kneel down and pay homage to even see the flowers. July 4, 2009 022 (2) In bud they suggest a wooden shoe with a shoe tree insert. Research gladdened our heart saying this would be hardy in zones 7 to 9. We are a firm 7 and plan to leave this little fellow in the ground. Seeds will be collected as a back up however. July 7, 2009 005 (2) Next up is Clematis stans. This came to us last year as a seedling from Christopher at Outside Clyde. I believe it came to him as seeds from Chuck B. at My Back 40(feet) in San Francisco. July 6, 2009 003 (2) The first year in the ground it grew nice large leaves and multiple stems. This year it grew taller and is loaded with buds. Clematis International has this to say about it:
“Gardeners who grew up on Christopher Lloyd’s Clematis may recall with a chuckle his characterization of Clematis stans as bearing flowers “of a spitefully non-contributory off-white skimmed-milk colouring.” It is not known how many sufferers from clematis lust over the years cheerfully decided that this was one plant they need not bother to try, and left it to the hopelessly addicted. But to re-open the question, we offer a no less pungent line from a famous non-contributor to botany, Ira Gershwin: “It ain’t necessarily so.” Clematis stans is a variable species, and though its flowers differ over a narrow range they are not all alike. In different forms they may vary in shape from slender to chunky, and in colour from white (through skimmed-milk) to a soft lavender-blue.”
It looks like we got lucky for the flowers are indeed that soft lavender blue. More blue than lavender to these eyes. The Clematis site mentioned that there can be fragrance on C. Stans, but giving it the sniff test just now at mid afternoon none was detected. Sometimes scent is only released in morning or evening or dead of night, depending on who it is trying to attract, so it may yet emit something pleasing. It was also learned that it might need staking. Ours lives at the feet of a standard trained Hydrangea paniculata that is supported by a stout metal fence post, planted there just in case a post was needed for additional Clemmie support.
July 6, 2009 004 (2) The first flower opened July 6. Early the next morning I went out with the camera to get an image with the kinder morning light. Look at what was found! The theory goes that a large bumble tried to climb inside for some shuteye and blew out the petal. No need to fret, there are ample buds in waiting on the handsome stalks. The leaves are attractive and of good size and substance, helping the ongoing battle against the little leaf syndrome at the Fairegarden. July 6, 2009 009 (2) The title plant, Hibiscus x ‘Kopper King’ was not really from a friend, it was purchased at our favorite local nursery Mouse Creek. But it was highly recommended by good friend Gail of Clay And Limestone, as in, “You must get this plant!” So I did after a group of pots was noticed with these gigantic blooms in the nursery greenhouse as I perused aimlessly on the last trip there. Note that there are several more buds too. The leaves are not what could be called copper, red, or hardly anything but green. Maybe in the bright summer sun the leaves will darken some. Even if they don’t, the size and shape definitely help alleviate our little leaf syndrome. July 6, 2009 005 (2) Good grief. Trying to give perspective to the immensity of the bloom with my hand, it can be seen that (1) the hand is not even with the flower because I am standing too far away for my arm to reach the flower because I don’t want to tread on some other plants at the feet of this giant (2) Who knows the size of my hand anyway so that was not a good choice and (3) I had just been cleaning out a cooler with soap and bleach and no gloves, bad blogger on many levels I know, so the skin looks like an alligator and the fingertips look like prunes. Anyway, this is a really big bloom, easily ten to twelve inches in diameter on a five foot tall plant. It has been staked to protect the innocent. It is hardy to zones 4 – 9. July 6, 2009 006 (2) Hibiscus have never been grown in the Fairegarden in any locale. The lack of hardiness in some of the more attractive cultivars and the general coarseness of the plant, not to mention the extremely late showing in spring of any life all led one to dismiss them as unworthy. Why this one and why now? Who knows, but when friends offer seeds, seedlings or advice about what to grow, it is taken with gratitude and the best effort to make everyone comfortable and happy.

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28 Responses to Kopper King And Friends

  1. gittan says:

    WOW! That’s a huge Hibiscus flower! Mine are not even close to that in size. We have two different ones and every spring I wonder.. are they alive? Since they are so late and halfhardy even here. Hope mine will make it thrue the move to the walled flowerbed, so far it looks good / kram gittan

    Hi Gittan, it is gigantic. I think some hibiscus are not that big, but really know very little about them since this is my first. Your walled bed is going to be full before long!
    Kram, Frances

  2. gail says:

    Frances, It’s a magnificent bloom and I do hope that it behaves itself in your garden~~ Meaning, of course, that those nicely shaped leaves with the prominent veining get going and get darker! Mine is looking very much like yours right now! The flowers are so exotic looking…and a nice bonus to the leaves! Btw, I took your recommendation to heart and found Hosta x Guacamole and brought one home to try out. It is a good looking hosta. Did the rain arrive and give your plants a nice summer bath? Looks like a day of watering the newbies in the garden over here. My friend, thank you for the sweet linklove and kind words. gail

    Hi Gail, thanks so much for recommending this giant fellow. So far he is adding greatly to the design scheme of the yellow/white garden with the vertical, large leaves and dinner plate blooms. Glad to hear you scored some Guac too, hope it works as well for you as it does here. We did in fact receive over two inches of rain in an hour. Hooray!

  3. Randy says:

    Well dadgumit! I was wondering why our pipe vine was growing so slow. It’s a ground cover? We’ve had it two years, we grew it from seed and it’s only about ten inches tall. I was trying to cover a seven foot trellis with it!

    Hi Randy, you are so funny! Dadgumit indeed. There are many types of this vine, some are quite large and invasive in our part of the world. Make sure yours is A. fimbiata, although it does sound like it might be a dwarf. Look for the A. macrophylla to cover a large space.

  4. Rose says:

    …um…I don’t remember what I was going to say, Frances–I’m still chuckling over Randy’s comment:) Interesting plants…I’ve never been a big fan of hibiscus because they look so much like my hollyhocks, but yours is such a pretty shade of pink. I often don’t use photos in my posts where my hand was propping up a plant–I think the camera must add wrinkles:)

    Hi Rose, HA, Randy cracks me up too! I am with you on the lack of hibiscus here, but this one has leaf interest too and the flowers don’t last that long anyway. Really, the flowers are secondary. I usually try to keep my hand far enough away to be able to crop it out. Often I have to hold the stem still if it is windy. Everytime the hand is shown, it looks awful and not even like it belongs to my arm. The arms are probably worse though! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. tina says:

    Good morning! I was excited to see the Dutchman’s pipe because I just bought three at Summer Celebration yesterday. For some reason I knew it was native and knew I should get it. I hope it does well. I didn’t know it needed protection but I will surely do so now. I have two hibiscus here. ‘Fireball’ and ‘Luna Blush’. So far I’ve enjoyed them, though Luna is a new purchase-yup just got it yesterday. I tell you it was worth the drive to Jackson just for the plants but I managed to see some gardens and take in some seminars too. We had a lady from UT Knoxville come and talk and I enjoyed her talk. I’ve heard of Kopper King and it is so nice it has friends!

    Hi Tina, it sounds like you had a fruitful trip to Jackson. You are such a gadabout. See what species of Dutchman’s pipe you have, for there are many different ones, most of them much larger than this little guy. My daughter Semi had Luna hibiscus one year but her husband set a piece of outdoor furniture right on top of it and it never came back. I know you will take better care of yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. LindaLunda says:

    Ohh that Dutchmanโ€™s Pipe is so…. NICE!!!!

    Thanks, Linda, he is a cutie pie. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Dave says:

    We were walking in the neighborhood the other day and saw a gigantic flower at a neighbor’s house. Jenny asked me what it was and I said probably some kind of hibiscus. Now I know what variety it most likely was! It’s a very impressive flower.

    Nan sent me some of the seeds for the Dutchman’s pipe. I got them planted late but they are coming up, hopefully we’ll have time to see the blooms.

    Hi Dave, glad Jenny liked it. She might need to have her own special place in the garden for her favorites, or does she already? That is so exciting that you got the sibling seeds from Nan as well. We can compare notes. I have mine in a shady nook where I can look after them properly. The flowers, the whole plant actually, are really little, you have to get down quite low to see them.

  8. Diana says:

    Love that giant hibiscus — as you know from mine! And I love your explanation of the size comparison to your hand!

    Thanks Diana, your are lovely. I have never really liked them for my own garden, enjoying them in others. We’ll see how it works out. I do like the size of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. lynn says:

    Frances, I was going to say those are NOT the hands of a gardener…it’s so clean..lol!! I LOVE that hibiscus. Mine is slow coming back because it got chomped! I was out taking daylily photos this morning and thought of you because you’d mentioned your season was coming to an end..boo hiss! We’re just starting…

    HA Lynn, that is one thing bleach will do, clean those green thumbs! I have read how slow these are to return, I consider that a big minus, patience is not one of my strong suits. Lucky you with the daylilies just beginning, an exciting time to watch each one have its first bloom. We still have a few flowers hanging on and some are reblooming. Now that is a good trait in a daylily! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. I love your Clematis stans – it’s so charming. I have the same half-flower problem with some of my Clematis ‘Betty Corning’ blooms. I was ready to blame it on earwigs, but the damage didn’t look right. Thanks for an alternative explanation. Your other two featured plants are beautiful in their own ways, one very subtle, one knock you over the head.

    Thanks, MMD, very insightful. I hadn’t thought about it like that, but the first and last plants could not be more different. The hisbiscus is not my usual style, but the foliage is just the ticket in an area of similar narrow leaf forms. You are also the only one to mention C. stans, but then you are one of the clemmie addicted that the quote spoke of? HA ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. easygardener says:

    Your Hibiscus is a whopper. I must give it a go. The Aristolochia reminds me of a carnivorous plant.
    Christopher Lloyd was probably expecting an attractive colour like yours – no wonder he was irritated when he got off white instead!

    Hi EG, thanks for stopping by. KK is huge, I barely could get it in the car. Imagine when the roots get to grow in the ground, will it get that much bigger? Aris does look like he could eat something, but he is so little it would have to be an insect, the birds are safe. Poor Christo, he loved deep colors so much too. He would like this one.

  12. Frances, I also have ‘Kopper King.’ In my yard, it suffers from some unseen insect that loves its leaves. However, this year I’ve been spraying the leaves every other day with a soap/insect spray and it pretty much seems to be working(!). I hope my KK blooms this summer. It’s gorgeous! ๐Ÿ™‚ Have a great weekend!

    Hi Shady, thanks. Our KK has holes in the leaves too, the nursery owner doesn’t spray and that is the way we garden too. If it bugs me too much, bugs-get it?, it will have to go. You too have a wonderful fun filled weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Joanne says:

    That Hibiscus is quite some flower.

    Thanks for visiting, Joanne. The hibiscus is amazing. I bought it with buds, but had no idea of the size the bloom would be and was walking that path when it jumped into my vision. I ran for the camera.

  14. Hi Frances. Yes the Clematis stans is an immigrant from San Francisco via Chuck B. Mine are showing no sign of bloom at all, though the plants are quite healthy. Just watch, I’ll get the off white skimmed milk ones. My giant red hibiscus in my blue and white front bed has the first buds. It is going to have to be moved in the fall or next spring I think. You plants are always ahead of mine.

    Thanks, Christopher. If yours turns out to be white, we can exchange seeds. Should I be asking why you have red hibiscus in the blue and white bed? But I have blue veronicas in the yellow white bed so I have no room to question these things. We are so much warmer than you are, it does affect the timing, but not the quality of blooms. You have so much more rain and all those wildflowers, not to mention the cozy cabin nearing completion. I have blooms ahead of you, like it is a race. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Catherine says:

    What great plants! I would love to try all of them here, especially the Dutchman’s Pipe.
    I’ve started to use my hand as a measuring gauge before only to look twice at my beat up hands and not do it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hi Catherine, thanks. There is a larger Dutchman’s Pipe that is a native, that can grow quite large. This is a tiny one and is quite well behaved. We are hoping it is hardy here. The poor hands of hard core gardeners, not a pretty sight! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Hi Frances

    I love that Dutchmanโ€™s Pipe.

    The Clematis is really subtle.

    Subtle’s not a word I’d use to describe the Hibiscus. They look so tropical with their enormous blooms.

    Hi Rob, thanks for stopping by. Tropical is not something we are drawn to here, maybe that is why we suffer so from the little leaf syndrome. Even old dogs can be taught new tricks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Katarina says:

    Dutchman’s Pipe sure looks interesting…

    Hi Katarina, thanks for visiting. The Pipevine is unique with that flower form. It makes one want to try the larger model just to see the flower better.

  18. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    To me it looks like all of these “friend”ly plants are well worth the space in your garden Frances. Have a great weekend.

    Thanks Lisa, the same to you. All friendly plants can have a home here with the special care to keep them going, we hope! ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. Les says:

    I loved my Kopper King and yes the flowers are showy (which my wife oohed over), but I liked the foliage as much. Alas, two consecutive droughty summers did it in and he refused to come up this year.

    Hi Les, so sorry about your KK. We are very droughty here as well and will see how it fares. It might be treated as an annual. The local nursery keeps it safe in the greenhouse and the price was right to buy a new one each year, or maybe try some others. Late to emerge is a minus.

  20. ~~Rhonda says:

    Frances, some of my own favorite plants were given to me by family and friends. That adds extra love to a garden.

    I have a large hibiscus called ‘Sante Fe’ that is the most beautiful rosy pink. Here’s a picture of a blossom:

    hibiscus 'Sante Fe'

    Somewhere I have a picture of DD standing by it when she was small and the flowers are like huge dinner plates next to her. We have several other large hibiscus, but ‘Sante Fe’ is my favorite. The color just glows! It is well down the back yard and I can easily see it from the kitchen window.


    Hi Rhonda, those gifts are extra special to us gardeners, aren’t they? Ooh, Sante Fe is a beauty too. The view from ones kitchen window should always be choice! ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. marmee says:

    i love the little bloom of the dutchman’s pipe. it is wonderfull in bud form too. don’t you find it so rewarding to get seed from friends and have them grow in your garden? i love it.
    that hibiscus is wonderful.

    Hi Marmee, thanks. Yes, having success with the gifts is one of the great joys of gardening. ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. mothernaturesgarden says:

    Flamboyant hibiscus flowers are my favorites.

    Hi Donna, they are certainly spectacular! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Joy says:

    Frances girl .. You have given me such a good giggle here this morning .. the hand thing .. I suffer from that phobia too, so I rarely have my hands in any of the pictures I take … also because focusing and fear of treading on other plants .. well you spoke VOLUMES on that whole episode ? LOL
    I have lusted after Kopper King but sadly I just don’t have the room right now .. but it is in “the vault” (Sienfeld referance ? LOL)
    I have Dutchman’s Pipe in the front and yes .. the tiny flowers can be totally missed because of their size .. but yet so interesting ! : )
    Loved the post .. thank you for the laugh this morning .. I needed that : )

    Thanks Joy, glad you enjoyed it. That hand thing, what is it about the camera that so magnifies the flaws? Oh right, the macro!!! HA Big Seinfeld fan here too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Is your pipevine the mini or the maxi?

  24. Gill says:

    what super shots,

    Gill in Canada

  25. Steve says:

    Wow! Those are some very unique pictures, Frances. I have planted lots of Hibiscus in my day but I am not sure the blooms ever got quote that large, lol. Lordy, that one needs his own room! The Clematis is totally new to me as is the Dutch bloom…………thanks loads for showing those gorgeous flowers. How’s it going? LOL, I have been busy, busy, busy.

    • julibrissin says:

      I live in Europe, on Hungary.
      I would love so Kopper king Hibiscus. At us yet cannot be got.
      Where I would be able to obtain it.
      For me H. luna, and Newbiscus yes.

      Thanks for visiting and welcome. Your hibiscus photos are lovely, so large! Our Kopper King was purchased at a locally owned nursery that does not do mailorder. Maybe a google search would help you find a source. It has performed well here in Tennesse so far. The new leaves are much redder out in the sun than the ones that were on the plant in the greenhouse where we bought it. I actually bought it for the leaves. ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. julibrissin says:

    I go in August beside Vienna Tulln Messe
    I hope so I get some of this then the Kopper king Hibiscus.

    I hope so too. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

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