13 November 2012


I saw a beautiful clump of rose-like Hibiscus mutabilis (Common Name: Confederate Rose, Cotton Rosemallow; Family: Malvaceae) in Australia almost 3 years ago that took my breath away. 

Before that, I already planted it at HortPark and was honoured to witness the beautiful flowers, which opened white in the morning and gradually took on a pink colour till it turned a dark pink by the end of the day. Such physiological changes never fail to amaze me, especially when there are multiple flowers on the plant and one can see a range of white to dark pink flowers since they open on different days.

So here I am, waiting for the same plant species at the Chinese Garden to flower, so that I can once again be enthralled by its ephemeral but timeless beauty. In ancient China, beautiful maidens were sometimes referred to as 出水芙蓉, which refers to the Cotton Rosemallow out of water.