Orlando, FL

Florida Flowers: Harmonious hibiscus and flower hunting in Florida

JoAnn Ryan

After moving to Orlando, over ten years ago now, I became addicted to flower hunting. It’s an easy ongoing endeavor to embark on as Florida, “the land of flowers”, is of course rich with all kinds of tropical flora.

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Red HibiscusJoAnn Ryan

This first photo of the beautiful red hibiscus is my favorite. I espied it outside Italian House, a quaint neighborhood restaurant where my husband took us to get some delicious lasagna!

Notice how full and showy it is. I attempted to look online to figure out why some hibiscus flowers have this look of so being full of petals, while others do not.

The answer didn’t seem too straightforward or uncomplicated, from what I could see, although it does seem that it might have something to do with the variety of the hibiscus and the maturity of the flower.

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Yellow and red hibiscus.JoAnn Ryan

Often, I might be driving somewhere and suddenly see an exceptionally beautiful bunch of flowers or a type of flower I haven’t seen before, and as a photography lover I have to decide if there's a way to stop and get photos.

Most of the time this is easy, except if I happen to be in a high traffic area at the time (happens a lot in Orlando) or if the flowers in question are in someone’s yard. A time or two I’ve asked people’s permission to take photos, although most of the time there’s no one around.

As long as the flowers are on the edge of the property I will go ahead and snap a few photos, but I’m not quite crazy enough to walk into someone’s yard without permission. Sounds like a bad news story waiting to happen!

Far better is visiting one of Florida’s many parks and gardens. I’ve gotten lots of great flower photos in these places —like the yellow and red hibiscus above. There’s plenty of convenient parking and no one is giving you a funny look... or if they are, it's for completely different reasons. It's still Florida, after all.

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Pink Hibiscus.JoAnn Ryan

This pink hibiscus I spotted in front of a Wawa one day when a friend of mine and I were going in to get frozen cappuccinos on a warm but overcast day. 😋

I don’t care too much if people think I’m weird taking flower photos outside of a convenience store. Wasn’t sure if the overcast would ruin things though, but I think the above photo turned out fairly well.

Additional information:

  • There are hundreds of species of hibiscus in a variety of beautiful, showy colors.
  • Some hibiscus are edible and considered a delicacy in some parts of the world.
  • Hibiscus tea is popular in certain places and is quite nutritious.
  • In some cultures, hibiscus is hailed for its medical properties.
  • WebMD advises using caution though, as not all variety of hibiscus are edible and even the edible kind may not be suitable for everyone's diet.
  • For Florida specific gardening information, see the page for hibiscus from the University of Florida's Gardening Solutions publication.

(This article is for informational purposes only. Always consult additional resources before attempting to consume any hibiscus.)

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Traveler, photographer, foodie and lover of life!

Orlando, FL
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