Plant of the Month: ‘Mahogany Splendor’ hibiscus

  • The velvety burgundy flower of the hibiscus ‘Mahogany Splendor’ adds wonderful warmth to a winter garden. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • This red-leafed hibiscus has lovely blossoms as well as deep red and intricately textural leaves. (tillandsiasource.com/via Diana Duff)

  • The calyx of the red-leafed hibiscus is an additional attractive feature of this plant. (Kim & Forest Starr/Via Diana Duff)

  • Closed flowers collected at the end of the day will make a nice Hibiscus acetosella tea. (Kim & Forest Starr/Via Diana Duff)

  • By mixing leaves or buds with baking soda or lemon juice you can prepare dyes from parts of the red-leafed hibiscus. (Kim & Forest Starr/via Diana Duff)

  • The deeply lobed mahogany leaves of the Hibiscus acetosella are one of the plant’s distinguishing features. (longwoodgarden.org/via Diana Duff)

  • A tasty tea can be prepared using leaves or flowers of the red hibiscus. (tillansiasouce.com/via Diana Duff)

  • One species of Hibiscus acetosella produces lovely pink flowers with red veins. (tropical.theferns.info/via Diana Duff)

Not many of us here in Kona need to use fireplaces for warmth during our winter, but with the current chill in the air, a touch of fire might be a welcome addition to our gardens. We have a few red plants to consider. Some ti plants, the copper bush and a few croton varieties as well as the Japanese maple tree all have red leaves. The “Mahogany Splendor” hibiscus not only has deep burgundy leaves but also bears a velvety red hibiscus flower. Easy to grow and a lovely addition to a landscape, this red-leafed hibiscus makes a warm addition to a late winter garden.