Plant Sit Meditation – Scarlet Hibiscus

Closeup of a Scarlet Hibiscus in full bloom

Introduction to Plant

I have come out to the Bee Garden to do a sit meditation with Scarlet Hibiscus (Hibiscus coccineus), I haven’t done a guided sit before so I’m not sure what is in store.  As I start the recording Ryn tells us to look closely at our plant, at this point I pause the recording and take some time just looking and noting what I see (next paragraph), then I turned back on the recording and followed along.

Leaves are offset from each other on the stem.  Green like grass green stem, leaves come off the stem like maple leaves do (easy to pluck).  Gets rough brownish marking as gets older, with 3 leaflets per leaf average.  I can see why people say it looks like Cannabis but not really.  The flower comes out of a chrysalis-like thing into a beautiful red flower with 5 eye-shaped petals and a stamen-like thing sticking out the center.

Guided Plant Sit Meditation

Leaf – Leaf stem comes off the main stem to split into three or more sawtooth leaflets with deep valley veins down the center and smaller veins coming off the main one.  They feel a bit rough and heavy like denim does and are dark green.  Some say it looks like a Cannabis leaf, I disagree, Cannabis leaves look lighter, more feather than denim, are a lighter green and their sawtooth pattern is closer together and more uniform than Scarlet Hibiscus.

Closeup of the sawtooth leaf of a Scarlet Hibiscus

Leaf arrangement – Alternating up the stem from the ground to the flower.

Close up view of how the leaves and stem of a Scarlet Hibiscus come together

Stem – As it grows out of the ground it is round and soft, as it grows and ages it develops rough woody patches or “battle wounds”.  It’s flexible allowing it to move with the breeze easily but not so flexible that one can bend it in half without damage.

Close up view of a Scarlet Hibiscus' weathered stem

Flower – Forms in a lime green calyx which opens to reveal five eye-shaped deep red petals with one red stamen covered in little yellow “hairs”.  The petals stand-alone almost in a star formation; they are deeply valleyed veined, delicate, soft, smooth, and a little rubbery when in bloom.  When the flower closes, to die off, it feels, smooth and rubbery.

Bugs – Bees buzzing around their hive that is only four or five feet from her.  Ants coming and going everywhere, mosquitoes biting horribly, bees buzzing by, and the lower leaves are eaten a bit here and there, leaving telltale signs of another little visitor.

Location – Cinderblock-lined flower bed in the Bee Garden; it shares the bed with other hibiscuses, two rosellas, and swamp hibiscus (white). The bed is slightly unkempt with grass and other “weeds” that need identification around her since it is said they communicate through their roots; be nice to know who she is talking to.

A wide view of the bed in which the Scarlet Hibiscus' lives.

Larger area – Dappled light with many types of trees, with sandy loam dirt covered in grass, leaves, and other “weeds”.  There isn’t water in this area except for rains, even those are wicked up quickly by the sandy loam soil, but the leaves hold the moisture making the area smell damp and musty. Scarlet Hibiscus sits in a semi-sheltered area where the wind isn’t too big of an issue, but the overgrowth and leaves make the area extremely buggy (mosquitoes).

I far away view of the overall area the Scarlet Hibiscus lives in

Sounds – Bees and mosquitoes buzzing, birds chirping, cicadas, crickets, dragonflies or darners, people doing yard work, and big machines down the way.

Smells – Moist wet dirt, heavy humid air, grass, and trees (moldy old smell).

Taste – Not much of a forward flavor, there is a hint of hibiscus in the after flavor.

Notes – Holding the dying flower feels like holding a baby bird, so delicate and smooth.

Describe or Draw plant from memory

When you walk out to the bee garden and down the winding path towards the bees, you will come across a beauty of a plant, her name is Scarlet Hibiscus or Hibiscus coccineus.  She is in a cinderblock-lined, slightly overgrown flower bed.  Her stem breaks through the dirt only a few inches from the concrete block. Round, long and strong stem, with battles wounds (hardening of the stem) marked along it, as it spreads alternating leaves with 3 or more leaflets out along it. Reaching out over the cinderblock barrier to almost lime green calyxes and a gorgeous red, smooth, five eye-shaped petal flower with one long stamen coming out the center with little yellow “hairs” on it.  On closer look, you can see the deep valley veins in both the leaves and the flowers.  You notice the leaves have sawtooth-like edges and are a bit rough or tough feeling while the petals are smooth and rubbery both in look and feel.

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