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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensisThe hibiscus is a common shrub in Southern California gardens.  The wild type has red flowers, which are single, that is, only one row of five petals.  Notice the long tube of stamens around the pistil.  Cultivated forms come in other colors as well as red.

Hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensisWe cloned several bushes of double pink hibiscus in our yard, and let them grow quite large.  One reason was that they were a favored food for the desert turtles.  They liked the leaves, but even more so, the flowers.  Some years the resident mockingbirds nested in the hibiscus just outside a window, where we could observe them.  One time ground doves refurbished the mockingbirds nest.

Hibiscus, Hibiscus rosa-sinensisThis shows the double hibiscus flower.  Some of the stamens have been replaced by extra petals.  And some stamens have flattened out to be partly petals.  The giant whitefly invasion of the 1990's hit our hibiscus so hard, I had to cut them down.  Fortunately the turtles had already gone to new homes.

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