Jan. 25, 2017

flower-of-an-hour, Hibiscus trionum

My wife asked how I decided which image to use each day. I had to say it's pretty arbitrary, and that she was welcome to nominate one. This choice surprised me a little. I guess it is the flower of the hour. Hibiscus is mostly thought of for large somewhat exotic flowers. This immigrant from the Middle East is only a little more than an inch across. It gets its name from its habit of folding up part way through the day. When it first opens, the five red stigmas are held erect, waiting for a pollinator to arrive. After a couple hours, the column holding them curls back to press them against the anthers. Soon, it's time is done. But by trying both cross and self pollination, it rarely fails to set seed. It is successful enough to be a listed weed in most of the country. It's been reported in every state except MS and NV, as well as MB, NB, NS, ON, PE, QC, and SK. Lenawee Co MI, 8/20/10