Jul. 3, 2018

sea hibiscus, Hibiscus tiliaceus

Hawaii's state wildflower is ma'o hau hele, Hibiscus breckenridgei. I'm really really sorry not to have images of that species. So we will make do with sea hibiscus, which certainly deserves some attention in any case. These large flowers are yellow when they open in the morning, turning orange and finally red as the day goes along. This species is native to Polynesia and southeast Asia. It's not clear if it is a native Hawaiian, or if it came there with the early Polynesian settlers. Sea hibiscus also now occurs in Florida. Lee Co FL, 1/24/13.