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LOVE FINDS A WAY

Whoever said don't mess with nature was not a hibiscus hybridizer. From the gentle dusting of pollen from one plant to another, before long a seed pod shows itself, perhaps in six weeks to four months. And then the seeds, maybe 10, maybe 50 or more, about the size of an okra seed, or a BB if you're not a gumbo eater. With no two seeds alike, blooms open in Technicolor shades and varying sizes - some the size of dinner plates - as singles and ruffly doubles. All from just two parents, unless you count the parents who patiently, passionately made this plant magic happen.

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"If it's got a bloom on it you can hybridize it," said Fred Roush, who will be at the show, sharing his expertise.

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A SHOW OF COLOR

The Tropical Hibiscus Show & Sale

Noon to 4 p.m. next Sunday at the Pinellas Park Auditorium, 7690 59th St. N. Beginning at noon: The outdoor sale features some 60 to 80 varieties among 500 or more plants. Go early for best selection. At 1 p.m.: The judged show begins its indoor display of hundreds of blooms. Free admission. (727) 530-9118 or (727) 784-5068. Sponsored by the Sunset Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society.

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