Hibiscus mutabilis (Cotton Rosemallow)

Pink flower and buds of Hibiscus mutabilis

Hibiscus mutabilis is a very striking mallow that produces huge flowers, similar in form to a double rose or peony. As ‘mutabilis’ (changeable) suggests, the flowers mature from white through pink to red, displaying flowers of all three colours on the same shrub. Well, that’s what Wikipedia says.

We found this plant growing in a cemetery in South Mississippi. In stature, it was as magnificent as its flowers: considerably taller than me, and nearly as wide as it was tall. It seemed to be fending for itself in the full sun with no ill effects other than slightly droopy leaves.

Call me a nitpicker, but this is a ‘plain’ pink double form. It’s the same colour in the bud as in the open flower, as shown here – just one shade of pink. An immutable mutabilis, we might say. Continue reading “Hibiscus mutabilis (Cotton Rosemallow)”

Backlit Stems With Seeds

Backlit furry geranium stems and seeds

Most of my ‘art’ shots are happy accidents. I give myself some credit for spotting an interesting subject, and playing with light, but can’t claim to have a clue how the picture will turn out. Here light seems to have been trapped by the hairy geranium stems and, by a stroke of luck, tinted pink. A smattering of blue blur circles in the top left of the picture hint at a blue sky, although they might be flowers. Continue reading “Backlit Stems With Seeds”

Flowers with backlight effect

Pink daisy flowers made translucent by sunlight

Pink flowers – possibly some form of echinacea – tumbling over each other as if to watch something. They’re at a concert and the ornamental grass is performing on stage, perhaps, or at a football match. An exciting one.

But we know that’s just fancy. Unlike us, the flowers don’t need a reason to be like this, they simply respond at a cellular lever to the sunlight, the soil and whatever moisture they can seek out. Continue reading “Flowers with backlight effect”

Cottage Garden Plants: Pink love-in-a-mist

Various shades of pink love-in-a-mist flowers

Pink seed strains of Nigella damascena seem to be increasingly fashionable at recent British flower shows. It’s a quirky flower, by any standards. Layered petals wheel around a crazy eye above lacy bracts.

The complex, decorative flower form has inspired many folk names. I use love-in-a-mist, but you may know it as love-in-a-tangle, love-in-a-puzzle, kiss-me-twice-before-I-rise, Jack in the green or lady in the bower. Continue reading “Cottage Garden Plants: Pink love-in-a-mist”