What Are the Adaptations of the Hibiscus Plant?

••• Hibiscus image by Cédric FROEHLICH from Fotolia.com

Hibiscus, with their showy flowers, grow in tropical climates but also make striking additions as summer annuals in northern landscapes. The plants have evolved to survive, adapting their physical characteristics to maximize pollination, which plants cannot perform on their own.

Pollinators

Hibiscus are pollinated by insects such as butterflies, but they are pollinated mostly by hummingbirds. The birds hover at the bloom, draw nectar and transfer pollen by coating themselves with it via their flapping wings.

Color

Hibiscus are unscented but have bright colors, particularly red hues. Many hibiscus varieties are shades of red, orange and pink, which hummingbirds like.

Shape

Hibiscus petals and their middle stamens form a bulls-eye, which helps guide hummingbirds, with their long, slender bills, into the flower. The flower’s middle stamen features anthers covered with yellow pollen and five dark stigmas on its end.

Food

Hibiscus, and other plants that rely on animals for pollination, must offer the animals more than visual stimulation to ensure they return. So they also serve nectar, located deep within the bloom, so that pollen gets disturbed and distributed.

Size

The large flowers of the hibiscus ensure that large amounts of water and sunlight are absorbed by the plant.

References

About the Author

Joy Brown is a newspaper reporter at "The Courier" and www.thecourier.com in Findlay, Ohio. She has been writing professionally since 1995, primarily in Findlay and previously at the "Galion (Ohio) Inquirer" and "Toledo City Paper." Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and history from Miami University.

Photo Credits

  • Hibiscus image by Cédric FROEHLICH from Fotolia.com

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