Monday, May 1, 2023

Hibiscus: Plants with the most beautiful flowers

A scarlet rosemallow (Hibiscus coccineus):
 a Florida native

There are 432 Hibiscus species that are found worldwide, and with their beautiful flowers, many are grown in gardens and some are even used as crops. In general, the flowers are large and showy.

For example, see the scarlet rosemallow in the lead photo. Here there are five green sepals subtending five large red petals. The pistil, the female reproductive part of a plant, is attached to the center of the flower. The pistil is made up of a five-chambered ovary where seeds develop, the style that is a long tube between the ovary and five round stigmas where the pollen is absorbed. A stamen, the male reproductive structure, consists of the anther that holds the pollen, and a stalk called the filament. In hibiscus flowers, the filaments fuse into a tube that surrounds the style. Numerous anthers stick out from the filaments below the five stigmas at the top of the style. The prominent pistil with all those anthers is one reason the hibiscus flowers are so showy.