"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag

Hibiscus in the Morning

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

“The hibiscus is one of the most popular flowering plants grown in tropical and subtropical areas…. It belongs to the mallow family, which contains several well-known plants such as cotton, hollyhock, turks cap, and the mallows. The genus Hibiscus also includes the shrub althea, confederate rose, and okra. The fringed hibiscus from Africa, the species schizopetalus, also belongs to this genus.

“There are several reasons for the increased popularity of the hibiscus. Improved varieties, especially some of the doubles, that attract attention are an important one. The fact that hibiscus bloom at a time of year when other flowers are not too plentiful, or are of poor quality, is of considerable importance. The realization that hibiscus may be grown successfully in many areas where it had not been grown has been helpful. The personal interest of some nurserymen in hibiscus and their making plants of good varieties available at reasonable prices has given impetus to the popularity of the plant.”

From “Hibiscus (Malvaceae)” in Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants In Your Garden by Noel Kingsbury:

“In those temperate regions with warm and humid summers, the range in [hibiscus] cultivation is boosted by a number of herbaceous perennial species from the U.S. Southeast, which have enormous flowers, e.g., Hibiscus moscheutos. In the tropics, H. rosa-sinensis is the most popular species in cultivation, with many varieties in a wide range of colours. A native of eastern Asia it has been in cultivation for many centuries — it is not clear how many. It is a polyploid, which adds much complexity and indeed unpredictability to its genetics; it is a very popular plant for both commercial and amateur breeding across the tropics, with many local societies promoting the plant and encouraging breeding.”


In an earlier post (see Bearded Iris Motley Mix (1 of 2)), I mentioned that I bought a couple of new hibiscus plants for two pots in my garden, but had no idea what kind or color the flowers would be since they only had a generic “Hello My Name is Hibiscus” plant tag. They started blooming a couple of weeks later, and while I initially thought they would be orange because of the color of their flower buds, the orange faded away as they opened and was replaced by dark red centers and saturated pink petals.

This is the first of two posts featuring these hibiscus, showing photos taken mid-morning. In the next post, I’ll show photos of these same hibiscus flowers taken in the early evening, between the late-day golden hour and blue hour around sunset. It was fun to see how the representation of color changed later in the day, when fading sun highlighted some of the blue, purple, and magenta in the flowers over the pinks and reds. Neat how that happens, don’t you think?

Thanks for taking a look!

Summer Sky Pink (Very-Very Pink!) Asiatic Lilies (4 of 4)

From Lilies by Naomi Slade:

“Lilies are familiar because they are ancient. Evolving before the very dawn of mankind, they were poised at our own birth to catch, embrace and captivate us. Despite the innocent blooms that dance in the wilderness, they tend to be portentous rather than frivolous, and they are never cosy. Adopted by religion, death and politics, the lily is a plant of ritual significance and multifaceted symbolism.”

From “The Journal of Henry David Thoreau” in The Complete Works of Henry David Thoreau by Henry David Thoreau:

“I wished to breathe the atmosphere of lilies, and get the full impression which lilies are fitted to make.”


Here are the last variations on my lily photos. The previous posts in this series are:

Summer Sky Pink (Very-Very Pink!) Asiatic Lilies (1 of 4)

Summer Sky Pink (Very-Very Pink!) Asiatic Lilies (2 of 4)

Summer Sky Pink (Very-Very Pink!) Asiatic Lilies (3 of 4)

I’m out of lily photos from those in my own garden, though I’ve accumulated several batches from elsewhere in the neighborhood that I’ve just started processing, including more than a dozen different varieties (which is just amazing!) and about 400 photos. It will take some time to organize them (the first few days with a large collection of photos is like sorting a mountain of paper clips by color) and jazz them up, so next — from my garden — will be a set of hibiscus photos from a couple of new plants I bought back in April. Stay tuned!

Thanks for taking a look!

Summer Sky Pink (Very-Very Pink!) Asiatic Lilies (3 of 4)

From The Book of the Lily by William Goldring:

“The history of lilies in English gardens is interesting, as it runs parallel with the history of geographical knowledge. Before far-off countries were known and explored, Lily culture in England was naturally restricted to the species native of Europe…. It was no doubt first cultivated in gardens of the royal and the rich, and it is quite possible that Elizabeth and her courtiers may have plucked flowers from the same stock from which has descended the common White Lily of today still… cherished by rich and poor alike.”

From The Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture (Vol. 4) by Liberty Hyde Bailey:

“The various lilies are unequaled by any other plant in their unique combinations of beauty, gracefulness, and stately magnificence….”


Here are some variations on the lily photos in my previous two posts (see Summer Sky Pink (Very-Very Pink!) Asiatic Lilies (1 of 4) and Summer Sky Pink (Very-Very Pink!) Asiatic Lilies (2 of 4)), where I have removed the backgrounds (by “painting” them black).

Thanks for taking a look!

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