Because Olivia just has to have them! So here ya go, toots ....!
These are a couple of inner bits shots of the Hibiscus 'Disco Belle' I posted earlier this week. (Photos taken 22 July, 2007 by IVG.)
I think the colour gradations in the flowers show up pretty well here (and yes, these were two different blooms), despite the shadow, which was totally unintended. Bonus points if you can identify the source of it ....
When you think about it, it's pretty amazing that a flower that lasts but one day goes to such intricate extremes to lure its pollinators to visit. I guess that's one of the reasons I've always been such an enthusiastic promoter of Hibiscus in general, and H. moscheutos in particular. It was definitely the tropical look in the midst of the midwest that hooked me initially (though I grew the tropical varieties for years), but the longer I've grown these beauties, the more I've come to appreciate their complexities. And when you add in the 'wow' factor they produce in their admirers, I just can't see how any garden is complete without a few representatives. And even the tropical varieties are pretty easy to grow inside over the winter, and will even reward you frequently as long as you provide them with a sunny window and adequate water and humidity. I actually look forward to pampering Erin Rachel come winter, so we can keep those giant 'froot loops' (Fernymoss' description) blooms coming!