Category Archives: Charles Atiu – Thoughts on Hybridizing

Dedicated To His Royal Highness, Prince Of Wales – NMMA 05.09



For this weekend, Master Charles ATIU is spoiling us with unbelievable colors and blooms. The genius at work produces combinations that one could not dare to dream of… a real Delirium 🙂 🙂 🙂

NMMA Delirium



The next source of inspiration is a character from Harry Potter series – NMMA Gandalf 🙂

NMMA Gandalf

NMMA Reflected In You

Last, but not least, a very special bloom dedicated to a Royal Highness – NMMA Prince Of Wales.

NMMA Prince Of Wales

Details about the parentage of these cultivars can be found on IHS – at letter “N”

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis cultivars


Beauty is in the Eyes of the Beholder


“The majority of hybridizers seek to make their dream a reality. By all evidence this is also my case. ”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Charles Atiu

Moorea Great Mamie Blue

Moorea Great Mamie Blue .


 Each hybridizer has his own criteria for creating a new variety and will seek to externalize what he thinks, feels and dreams in the depths of his soul. The majority of hybridizers seek to make their dream a reality. By all evidence this is also my case. The primary goal is not necessarily to please others, but rather to please one’s self and to share our joy with those around us. The degree of beauty or ugliness is dictated by one’s sense of learned aesthetics and for each of us this is different. So judge for yourself!

   Moorea Jessica Moorea Lacramioara Mihaela

       Moorea Jessica                                                               Moorea Lacramioara Mihaiela

  On the following pages some new hybrids are presented (…). Some of you will appreciate the color, others the size or shape or position of the flower, or perhaps even the longevity of a flower. For others, everything is significant. The purpose of all this is to understand how genes were able to express such colors.

 IF  Moorea Merveille Black Rainbow

           Moorea Melody Beethoven                                  Moorea Merveille Black Rainbow

Moorea Dramatic Monologue   Moorea Lovely Treasure

     Moorea Dramatic Monologue                                    Moorea Lovely Treasure

 How does a hybridizer’s dream come true? We would have to put ourselves in the place of hybridizer to understand. I encourage you to analyze each cross closer; sometimes the genetic combination has nothing to do with the immediate parents. (…) There will be hybrids that may catch your interest, and perhaps inspire some of you to became hybridizers yourselves.

                  Published in Hibiscus International, Vol.11 no.1 – Issue 46(Jan.Feb.Mar. 2011).          Translated from French by Marie and Ian Rabenda

From the huge sensiblity of this open-hearted man, from all his doubts and experiences, God allowed him to create unique HIBISCUS flowers – butterfly wings to caress our souls with pure BEAUTY.

Moorea Vatina [1     IF

Moorea Vatina                                                           Moorea Baby Iva

 Moorea Factory Of Dreams   Moorea Mother Love

Moorea Factory of Dreams                                                        Moorea Mother Love

Hibiscus of Moorea – my thoughts on hybridizing, by Charles Atiu


 “…the main thing for me is to leave a legacy, so my children and grandchildren can remember me wherever they go.”

Charles Atiu

   Moorea Butterfly Two          IF

               Moorea Butterfly Two                                               Moorea Brown Rainbow

  Moorea Baby Tea       Moorea Eccentric Blue

               Moorea Baby Tea                                                         Moorea Eccentric Blue

I’ll try to explain the basics of how I see things in a way as simple as possible. Some may not agree with my way of doing things, nevertheless this is my personal rationale arrived at after years of work. In the area of genetics, one generally expects theory to be reflected in the results but with hibiscus, the outcome is often unexpected. In theory 1+1=2 but this is not always the case when hybridizing hibiscus. Theory assumes and predicts a logical result but in practice, the results may either confirm or contradict what we expected. Theory goes hand in hand with practice but it is the result of matter. Our efforts need to be guided by the evidence or the concrete results.


As a hybridizer, I rely on three very important things:

  • Careful observation to detect the smallest details that might help us understand and manage most of our objectives;
  • Curiosity is helpful in pushing us to understand the why of things which is essential for learning;
  • Intuition is a quality that helps us to discern what the eye cannot see.


I hope your curiosity will be aroused by the many pictures of my Moorea hybrids. As for your intuition, I’ll leave that up to your own discernment. To help you in your research you can use the International Hibiscus Society database. You have the genealogy and some flowers that appear for the first time, parents names are listed below the photo.


Published in Hibiscus International, Vol.11 no.1 – Issue 46(Jan.Feb.Mar. 2011).

Translated from French by Marie and Ian Rabenda

From the curiosity of this genius hybridiser came out wonders like these:

 IF   a-0-P1020462

          Moorea Bomb Alix                                              Moorea Road to Inferno

  IF    Moorea My Island

            Moorea Epsylon Queen                                         Moorea My Island

  Moorea Hot Charley  IF

                  Moorea Hot Charley                                                   Moorea Imperial Blossom

Master Atiu’s Masterpieces – Doubles and Petaloids


Moorea Brown Ringlets     Moorea Sovereign

Moorea Brown Ringlets                                                               Moorea Sovereign

Moorea Clara B.   Moorea Cupid's Crystals

Moorea Clara B.                                                                               Moorea Cupid’s Crystals

IF  Moorea Leprechaun Gold

Moorea Gaillardia                                                         Moorea Leprechaun Gold

I always wondered how come some of the hibiscus flowers bear those petaloids that make them so attractive and unusual. I found the answer as result of a research made some time ago by a team of  Korean scientists:

 Anatomical and histological studies in double flowers of hibiscus syriacus  were conducted to define and understand the transformation processes of both stamens into petaloids and staminal column and pistils into other floral organs. The degree and shape of transformation of those stamens to petaloids were determined based on morphological characteristics of the stamens. In single flowers, basal stamens bore a single filament, and the distal stamens consisted of two serial half stamens. Staminal column was found to be tube-like fused adelphia in single flowers, but staminal column in proliferous flowers transformed into five free antepetalous axes or accessory flowers. The degree of petalification of pistils varied with cultivars.

From: Kim, Jong Hwa; Park, Sung Min; Lim, Hak Tae, 1995: Transformation of gynoecical and androecial organs to petaloids and accesory flowers in syriacus. Journal of The Korean Society For Horticultural Science. 36(3): 384 – 390.

Very interesting, but also quite complicate, isn’t it? Who would imagine that so much science stays behind our beloved doubles and petaloids?

For your viewing pleasure I enclose some of Master’s Charles Atiu masterpieces – doubles and petaloids. I  hope you’ll enjoy them.


Moorea Shalimar   IF

Moorea Shalimar                                                           Moorea Hauarii

Moorea Santa's Smile  Moorea Genuine Satin

Moorea Santa’s Smile                                                                   Moorea Genuine Satin

Moorea Jimena In Dark Moorea Blue Essence

Moorea Jimena in Dark                                               Moorea Blue Essence

Moorea Mermaid poza mare - Copy

Moorea Mermaid                                                                            Moorea Casiana

Moorea Euphoria  Moorea Bora Bora Dream

Moorea Euphoria                                                         Moorea Bora-Bora Dream

About Colors and their variation


Maybe this will be the first time you discover this graceful world, in this book. If that’s the case, my only desire is to encourage you to find out a bit more about this amazing flower. Give it a try, at least once, and you will not be disappointed!

                                                                                                             Charles Atiu 

Moorea Vahine Star Moorea Sovereign

Moorea Vahine Star                                                 Moorea Sovereign

Moorea Timeri Beauty    Moorea Toaremoana

Moorea Timeri Beauty                                             Moorea Toaremoana


Moorea Boondah Boo


It is difficult to find two identical colors. In fact, each flower has its own colors. I have noticed that some flowers concentrate the colors, while others disperse them. And it also occurs that strong colors disappear to give birth to an almost different new one.

 In genetics two things must be clearly distinguished: theory and practice. As we do not know the genetic background of the hibiscus, it often happens that we suddenly obtain colors different from what we are looking for. To avoid these kinds of deviations, it is a good idea to first cross similar colors, to increase the chances of finding the desired color amongst the young new plants. In the search for colors, it is convenient that these are tested in the same way, to save time. Then it is possible to combine them at will.

 One thing is true: In hybridization we work only with probability. By taking into consideration the genetic potential of each flower, we judge in our spirit and our mind if a cross could be favorable or not. Each hybridizer has its own judgment and way of doing things. As with colors, it is impossible to see two identical hybridizers in terms of their quest, direction, and above all, results. Let’s take the case of maroon color. If we cross maroon colors very often, the possibilities of obtaining maroon flowers will be increased, but there’s no certainty that the results in this direction will be satisfactory within what we look for. In all case, the more experiments one does with the flowers, the easier it will be to find the direction one is looking for.

It must be stated however, that orientation in this field is not easy, given the lack of information on the genetics of hibiscus. Most hybridizers often work at random, though is also frequent that some new marvels are obtained this way.

Excerpt from Hibiscus – A Passion Dedicated Life

  Moorea Aiud Sunset  Moorea La Esperanza

Moorea Aiud Sunset                                                                          Moorea La Esperanza

Moorea Fine Lace      Moorea Fire In The Sky

Moorea Fine Lace                                                                                    Moorea Fire in the Sky

Moorea Merveille Splendor     IF

Moorea Merveille Splendor                                               Moorea My Blonde Girl

Moorea Queen Of My Heart  Moorea Constantino Garcia

Moorea Queen of My Heart                                                   Moorea Constantino Garcia

About the Rainbows


                IF                      Moorea Angela's Rainbow

   Moorea Sublime A.(parent of Moorea Angela’s Rainbow)                  Morea Angela’s Rainbow

Moorea Enana Rainbow  Moorea Saga Rainbow

Moorea Enana Rainbow                                                                   Moorea Saga Rainbow

Some people have well marked predilection for the  so -called ” Rainbows “. There are flowers that have the ability to transmit their progeny the “rainbow effect” or “rainbow” characters.

Sometimes they don’t look exactly the way we expect from them to look-as a rainbow, and yet they have amazing qualities. Take for example Moorea Sublime A., a red flower with purple edges. Although it doesn’t look like a rainbow, it is one of Moorea Angela ‘s Rainbow parents. In fact, a “rainbow producer” is not called like this because of his color. A hybridized always takes into account the previous experiences and genealogy of the flowers, always looking to get the best performance. Repeated attempts and failures are, paradoxically, the key to discovery of certain features that can be helpful in this endeavor. From experience I have found out there are flowers that are able to focus, disperse or mix – to a greater or lesser extent – one or more colors. Of course, all these personal experiences are part of a rather personal field that the hybridizer will not disclose, in order to avoid plagiarism.

Some of world hybridizers choose to use the name “rainbow “, even if the flower does not look like it. Often this line is taken with respect to its predecessors.

And yet, how many colors should have a flower to be called a “rainbow “? Aside from specific cases, I personally think that a really “rainbow“ should have five colors, but in most cases, three or four are sufficient for the name to be given. Flowers with five to seven colors are rare, and not all can transmit the desired genes. Moreover, their names do not necessarily bare the “rainbow” in their name, despite the outstanding color quality.

We could get “rainbows” in various shades:  more or less degraded brown, multicolored (white, red, pink , orange), overlapping and so on . In any case, however, is not mandatory that these copies will transmit the characters of “rainbow”. What I mean is that in order to obtain rainbows, only experimenting with them one can demonstrate the true potential of “rainbow” type flower.

Summarizing, we can say that a “rainbow” flower can be categorized as such, based on its ability to convey those genes, hence the name “Rainbow producers”. But there are also flowers with the “rainbow” name, although they are completely devoid of the ability to transmit these characteristics.

Excerpt from Charles Atiu – HIBISCUS -A passion dedicated life

Rainbows made by Master Charles Atiu

IF   Moorea Arc-en-Ciel Bleu Froid

                                         Moorea Mona Rainbow                                       Moorea Arc-en-Ciel Bleu Froid

IF    IF

                                       Moorea Arc-en-Ciel Brun                                         Moorea Arc-en-Ciel La Violette

IF    Moorea Arco-iris De Fabiana

                                        Moorea Arc-en-Ciel Marianne                                   Moorea Arco-iris De Fabiana