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Extension Hibiscus “Minnie Lee II” Planting at
Urban Garden Center


hibiscus

Photo: L-R clockwise- 4-H Agents Claire Nakatsuka (Oahu), Kate Everett (Maui), Joan Chong (Kona), Becky Settlage (Hilo), Laura Kawamura (Kauai), Rose Saito (Oahu), Steve Nagano (Oahu) plant a Minnie Lee II hibiscus plant at the Urban Garden Center.

Kauai Administrator Roy Yamakawa pieced together the oral history of the “Extension Hibiscus” now called the Minnie Lee II, and provided the plant that will now grow at the Urban Garden Center. The caretaker of the plant will be Aubin Stremler, an Urban Garden Center volunteer.

The Minnie Lee II was bred on Kauai by Mrs. Hisayo Niitani, one of the charter members of Kauai University Extension (UE) Clubs in the 1990s. UE ladies across the state were trying to locate the original ‘Minnie Lee’, which is also the official flower of the Hawai‘i Extension Homemaker’s Council. ‘Minnie Lee’ was bred by A. M. Bush on Maui in 1929, a hybrid between a "common yellow" X 'Agnes Galt' and named for both the wife and daughter of the first Director of Extension, William Lloyd, who came from Washington D.C. to formally establish Hawaii’s Extension Service. Although a thousand cuttings were distributed to the 4-Hers back then, it was nowhere to be found. Dr. Terry Sekioka, now retired CTAHR plant breeder, taught the UE ladies how to breed hibiscus, and Mrs. Niitani successfully made a cross between the initial parents to produce 'Minnie Lee II', and distributed it to UE club ladies on Kauai. Apparently, there are a number of siblings from that same cross on Kauai.

Common Name: Minnie Lee II
Latin Name: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Family Name: Malvaceae

 

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