The Hibiscus flower is daylight sex on a stem. When it offers itself, it offers all it has – it becomes a cosmic explosion of unfurling, exotic colors and shapes that attract humming birds, bees, and many humans. At night, it wants to be alone and closes itself tightly.

In Tahiti and Hawaii, the tradition is that a woman wearing a red Hibiscus behind her right ear is looking for a relationship; a woman who wears one behind her left ear is signaling that she’s in a relationship. Around here, the Hibiscuses usually are in movable planters, rather than behind ears. (Brooklin, Maine)