"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag
Do You Know Dipladenia? (2 of 3)

Do You Know Dipladenia? (2 of 3)

From “White” in The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair:

“‘For all these accumulated associations, with whatever is sweet, and honorable, and sublime, there yet lurks an elusive something in the innermost idea of this hue, which strikes more of panic to the soul than that redness which affrights in blood.’

“So wrote Herman Melville in the forty-second chapter of Moby-Dick. Entitled ‘The Whiteness of the Whale,’ the passage is a veritable homily on the troubling, bisected symbolism of this color. Because of its link with light, white has laid deep roots in the human psyche and, like anything divine, can simultaneously inspire awe and instill terror in the human heart….

“White has long been intricately connected with money and power. Fabrics, including wool and cotton, had to be heavily processed in order to appear white. Only the very wealthy, supported by battalions of staff, could afford to keep the fresh lace and linen cuffs, ruffs and cravats worn in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries pristine. This connection still holds true.”


This is the second of three posts featuring dipladenia flowers from my garden. The first post is Do You Know Dipladenia? (1 of 3).

These white variations — this one is called “Dipladenia Rio White” — start out with a light pink tint as you can see in the first image below. The blooms contrast nicely with the dark green leaves and vines, and it seems that the white varieties produce more flowers than the other colors I’ve grown… though this might be just a coincidence.

Like the red ones, the opened flower has a bright yellow center, one that — when it captures early morning or late afternoon light at a low angle — shows off an iridescent glow. That glow is most apparent in the last seven photos in this series, which I photographed about a half-hour before sunset.

Thanks for taking a look!

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