Hibiscus Flower

Hibiscus Flower photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Phipps Conservatory Outdoor Gardens, PA

Here we will discuss both a puzzle and a warning. The flower is a vivid red Hibiscus flower produced by a Hibiscus in the Outdoor Gardens of Pittsburgh‘s Phipps Conservatory.

Which shall we confront first, puzzle or warning? Are these questions soley my own, or have others noted them also?

The warning first. Do not spend any (yes, any!) time posted at Hibiscus flowers, awaiting the arrival of butterflies. After having done so many times, I have never seen a butterfly fly to Hibiscus. Skunked 100% of the time. Despite how much I wanted to photograph winged beauties against the background of hibiscus of different colors, zilch, nada! Photoshop has never been an option.

The puzzle? Why don’t hibiscus flowers attract butterflies? Why is such a spectacular flower not a butterfly destination? Next, who does pollinate these flowers? I’ve logged in my time, without question and not seen butterflies, bees, flies or wasps wiggle around in hibiscus. Of, course we only photograph in the morning, and usually stop by 11-11:30 in the morning. Do they do pump sweet nectar at all? Afternoons? Nights for moths? Bats?

Over all, we post to educate here. Butterflies do not travel to all flowers. Some flowers appear to never feed butterflies, no matter how much we think that they ought to.

Jeff