Hibiscus and Hollyhock

Now that summer seems more likely to happen, we’ve been getting busy in the garden again. I’m looking forward to our hollyhocks flowering this year, as they’ve done well, growing nice and big since we grew them from seed and planted them out last year.

Anticipating hollyhocky loveliness, I went to do some admiring on Google images, and it then struck me that they look rather like hibiscuses. Wikipedia soon told me that they’re called Alcea, belong to the family Malvacea, and share this family with Hibiscus.

Hibiscuses have always been one of my favourites, with the rosa-sinensis variety being the national flower of Malaysia, and growing up with parents and relatives taking pride in the many varieties of hibiscus in their gardens (and reserving a certain wrath for when the dogs dig up the hibiscus plants, of all the things they could’ve dug…). So it’s nice to know I have a ‘cousin’ in my own home.

Hibiscus as big as my face!
2011-11-30 Cameron Highlands 10

Evidently I wasn’t the only who’d spotted, and admired, this resemblance, as typing “hollyhock and hib” got Google suggesting “hollyhock and hibiscus related”. But forget everything else, and look at this this:

Image by Brian Johnston, Microscopy UK

Image by Brian Johnston, Microscopy UK

How amazing. Such gorgeous pictures that go into microspic, beautiful, detail. Almost a little racy…

Can’t wait for my hollyhocks!

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