Anatomy of a Hibiscus – Part 2 (Extreme Macro)

Hibiscus is a great flower to photograph. The contrast between the green sepals and bracts, showy red petals (this particular variety), deep red pistils surrounded by bright yellow stamens make a great study in contrast especially against a dark background. You may not enjoy the botany below, but I’m sure you’ll agree that nature truly offers a marvelous spectacle in the microscopic.

Click on any picture to see a larger version!!

A fully open hibiscus flower
A fully open hibiscus flower

We all learned in school botany (well some of us!) about the various parts that make up a flower. Generally, flowers have 3 components –

  • Calyx – made up of sepals that protect the bud in infancy and form the base of the flower
A hibiscus bud showing bracts and the calyx (which are both modified leaves!)
  • Corolla – made up of showy petals that encase the reproductive organs
A hibiscus petal
  • Reproductive parts (Corolla, Stamen) that are in turn
Detail of a hibiscus stamen and stigma
Detail of a hibiscus stamen (male) and pistil (female)
Close-up of the reproductive organs of a Hibiscus flower. The yellow stamens and the red pistils.
  • Stamen – that make up the male reproductive parts – in turn made up of the filament that holds up the pollen sac or anther. The anther releases pollen when open.
Detail of a Hibiscus flower stamen.
Detail of a Hibiscus flower stamen.
Even closer. Glittering Hibiscus pollen on anthers held up by the filament – forming the stamen of the Hibiscus flower.
    • Pistil – The female reproductive parts of a flower. These are also made up of three components
      • Ovary – that finally forms the seed after fertilization
      • Style – a stalk above the ovary
      • Stigma – the farthest extend of the female part of the flower which receives the pollen for fertilization. This is usually sticky and allows pollen to attach.
The stigma of a Hibiscus flower, with pollen on them.

The pollen in the above picture look spherical, don’t they? But in the picture below, which is a crop of the above, you can see that the pollen grains are spiky, thereby allowing them to stick to the stigma surface.

100% crop of a stigma showing the real structure of pollen.
100% crop of a stigma showing the real structure of pollen.

Well, that’s my botany lesson! Thanks for stopping by….

Technical Details

  • Nikon D7000
  • Sigma 105mm, f/2.8 macro lens (with extension tubes for the closeups).
  • External remote flash Nikon SB-600 Speedlight
  • Adobe LightRoom 4.3 for adjustments

Published by


Scientist, hobby photographer and amateur gardener

22 thoughts on “Anatomy of a Hibiscus – Part 2 (Extreme Macro)”

    1. Thank you! My blog is not a biology blog but a photo blog where in this instance I have tried to show details of the flower using high magnification photography.

  1. Hi Jawahar,
    I found your blog while looking for information on a Hibiscus flower.
    I am sorry, I should have asked first if I could use a small portion of your info, {none of your images were used}, and put your site information to my latest image.
    I also am now following since you have such wonderful images and information.
    Looking forward to seeing what you will present to us to view.

  2. My site is and the image I used some of your information on is called Pollinating!

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