It’s no surprise that the herbaceous perennial hibiscuses in the zoo’s gardens are a visitor favorite! These eye-catching, large flowers are hard to miss on zoo grounds and are a popular spot for snagging the perfect zoo photo. Lincoln Park Zoo is excited to announce that it recently received national accreditation from the American Public Gardens Association Plant Collections Network for its herbaceous perennial hibiscus.
Not only do these beautiful plants support Lincoln Park Zoo’s mission of connecting people with nature, their brightly colored flowers attract an array of local pollinators and provide enrichment to species around the zoo as a part of Animal Care & Horticulture’s browse program. The zoo’s gardens showcase 75 taxa of hybrids and cultivars of four native North American species: Hibiscus moscheutos, Hibiscus coccineus, Hibiscus laevis, and Hibiscus grandifloras.
The zoo’s herbaceous perennial hibiscus serve as a well-documented living library, providing opportunities for staff and researchers to gather important plant knowledge that is valuable to a wide range of professionals, as well as home gardeners. Herbaceous perennial hibiscus are popular within the horticulture industry, and new cultivars continue to be developed. This creates a need for the zoo to preserve cultivars and novel traits that could be lost as taxa continue to evolve.
Not only does Lincoln Park Zoo hold a nationally accredited plant collection, the zoo is also an accredited arboretum! Be sure to check out the zoo’s tree map, which highlights 20 trees of interest throughout the zoo.
Thank you to the zoo’s hardworking horticulture team who keep zoo grounds bursting and blooming with color and life.