A Rock Rose by any other name would be just as pretty…
Here in Texas, our native Rose Pavonia, Pavonia lasiopetala, just loves the hot summers. When other plants curl up for protection from the baking sun, the Rose Pavonia opens up its flowers and puts on a beautiful display.
A gorgeous metallic turquoise female sweat bee (Halictidae) covered herself in extensive pollen grains by visiting the flowers. This behavior not only identifies her as female in the sweat bee world but also distinguishes her from a Cuckoo Wasp, which is remarkably similar in appearance.
The Pavonia flower closes at night and reopens in the warm sunlight. I just love its closed state, like a little flower puppy or kitten all curled up and sleeping. Here is the Brazilian Rock Rose, Pavonia braziliensis, looking like a tiny peppermint-candy rose bud.
When it opens, it is a striking white version of its Texas cousin.
That’s Firebush just behind it, another heat-loving plant. I’m glad these plants enjoy the Texas sun — they remind us of the good side of our hot summers (but thank goodness fall is approaching).