"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Hibiscus in the Evening

Hibiscus in the Evening

From Hibiscus for the Yard by R. H. Hanchey and W. D. Kimbrough:

“During warm weather the blooms of most of the varieties of hibiscus last for only a day. They open in the morning and cannot normally be used for decorative purposes that night. The time of opening varies somewhat with different varieties. Hibiscus flowers can be used the night following the morning they open if they are removed from the plants as soon as they are fully open and stored at temperatures [of 35 to 45 degrees Fahrenheit]. They may be kept in a home refrigerator….

“The plants are not damaged by removing the blooms if no leaves are removed. Even though the blooms last but a day, free blooming varieties will furnish an abundance of flowers during the normal blooming season.”


I took the photos in the galleries below in sequence one day in mid-June. The first three photos are from late morning as the flowers were just opening, and the rest were taken between golden hour and blue hour, as I mentioned in my previous post (see Hibiscus in the Morning).

While it’s certainly true (as noted in the quotation above) that hibiscus flowers typically only last one day, it’s also true that the texture of the flower petals change as the day wears on: they get thinner and become more translucent with evening’s approach. In all the photos after the first three, then, you can see two things happening: the flower petals are thinning so more light appears to pass through them (the eye and the camera see that as less intense reflected color saturation); and different colors become more apparent as the sunlight changes from late-day warmth to the cooler blue and purple glow that accompanies early evening light. There is a marked shift from warm to cool colors between the seventh and eight photo below, taken just a few minutes apart.

Thanks for taking a look!

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