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ADD SOME SHADES TO YOUR YARD

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.

- mimi@tampabay.com

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