Spring has sprung in Rosehill, Texas. Azaleas are bursting with blooms. White blossoms fill Bradford pear trees. Unfortunately, pollen from pines, oaks, and every green tree is also clogging the air. Daily pollen counts here are double, triple previous years.

Pollenpocalypse may be upon us, but the gardener in me won’t be stopped.

Morning Glory seeds need to be planted and zinnia seeds dried from last year’s blooms must be spread in the flower beds.

Plus, Confederate Rose trimmings rooted over the winter have leafy growth. Time to get the sticks into the ground so those twigs can grow hardly roots.

If you’re not familiar with a Confederate rose, this is one.

The showy blooms, 4 to 6 inches wide, appear in fall. They open white, fade to pink, and, as they age, end up red. All three colors can appear on the same plant at the same time. It’s not a rose at all but a species of hibiscus native to China (Hibiscus mutabilis).

It’s a favorite Southern passalong plant since it’s so easy to propagate. The easiest way to reproduce the plant is to simply put cuttings in water like I did.

Legend says the flowers were used to soak up the blood spilled on Confederate battlefields and hence the name Confederate. In the book Passalong Plants, Felder Rushing says ladies in Mobile, Alabama gave these flowers to Confederate soldiers returning home from the war. He’s a well-known authority on all things southern especially gardening things so it’s bound to be true.

Another name is “cotton rose” because its leaves resemble cotton foliage and its round flower buds resemble cotton bolls.

The Confederate rose can be either a small tree, a perennial, or an annual.

One good thing that’s come from Global Warming is more people are being introduced to the Confederate rose.

In places that don’t have winter freezes, it can get grow thirty feet tall. What a sight to see so many multi-colored flowers each fall.

The best thing about Confederate Roses…

All you need to do is ask a friend to have one in your yard. Don’t be shy about asking. It’s what we do down here. It’s perfectly acceptable.