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Robert Brown is being honored with a hibiscus mural in Vernon

Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 2:36 PM CDT
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VERNON, Texas (KAUZ) -Three men had a dream to make Vernon the hibiscus capital of the world. One of those men is being honored with a hibiscus mural this weekend.

It started with one plant in the backyard Vernon mans home. In just over a decade, it has turned into an agrilife research and breeding program across the state.

A young scientist named Dariusz Malinowski came to Vernon from Europe not knowing what a hibiscus plant was. Once he did, he became interested in the plant. His friend and soon to be coworker Steve Brown became interested as well. Steve had a big backyard so they used it for research on the plants where his son Robert became fascinated and followed in his fathers footsteps.

“When Dariusz would be in the Browns backyard, they would sit their and talk about the program,” Roberts cousin Brice Ferguson said. “The vision for the program and the possibilities.”

The trio set off to create a research and breeding program. After years of hard work, they did in 2010. Later that year, Robert passed away. His father and Dr. Malinowski decided to honor Robert and name a hibiscus plant after him to keep his legacy alive.

“It is a truly amazing program and the accomplishments that have been made since his passing,” Ferguson said. “I think he would be just amazed. It is a legacy that he deserves and is only second to his greatest legacy, which was his daughter.”

Vernon is having an unveiling ceremony of the mural Saturday, July 31st at 9 a.m. The Robert Brown Hibiscus plant is one of the most popular ones on the market today.

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