Consider the Cultivars

hibiscus It’s human nature to “improve” on Mother Nature’s creations. It’s called artificial selection, and we’ve been at it for thousands of years: find a population of edible grains, cultivate those with the largest, sweetest kernels, and voila: the wheat, corn, rice, barley, and oats that we know today.

blackberry lilyWe’ve done the same with ornamental plants, and often the result is spectacular. I dropped by Stirling’s Coffee House yesterday for a glass of iced coffee and photographed these beauties — blackberry lily (which is actually an iris) and “dinner plate” hibiscus. One fun thing about the hibiscus is that its flowers are so huge that the structures — stamens and five-parted stigma — are easy to distinguish with the naked eye. Lovely!



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