Close-up of a flower where the petals have outlived their usefulness and died. Once the petals die (after pollination or a certain amount of time if no pollination occurs), the petals are no longer needed by the plant.
The stigma, which is the female part of the reproductive structure that catches the pollen, is photographed above. Note the hair-like projections to aid in capturing pollen. The red stalk-like structures attached to the stigma's are part of the style that connects down into the ovary. Pollen will grow tubes from the stigma to the ovary where the sperm will fertilize the eggs.
A close-up of a single flower bud.
Unfortunately, these ovaries were never fertilized, either there were no insects or the warm summer destroyed them all. Because the pollen is "below" the stigma, it's unlikely that the plant would be self-fertilizing.
The inside the bud the dark brown colored object is the unfertilized ovary. If it was a fertilized ovary it would be much larger.
The flower emerging from the bud.
These are the flower buds with a couple starting to bloom.
Removing the dead petals shows the ovary that, if the eggs because fertilized, would now start to enlarge in size as the fertilized eggs develop. A ripened ovary is referred to as a fruit. Some fruits are commonplace and edible (like a cherry or an apple), others are not edible.
Once the petals die (after pollination or a certain amount of time if no pollination occurs), the petals are no longer needed by the plant and they shrivel up and die.
Hibiscus (Cranberry Crush I believe) is perennial hibiscus plant that grows about 4 feet tall.
A few of the dead unfertilized eggs - each is about 1mm long.
At the base of the style are the filament and anther, parts of the male reproductive structure called the stamen. The anther here are yellow and contain the pollen. The filaments hold the anther up so that insects or birds (pollinators) are more likely to run into them. At the base of the style is the ovary.
The dead ovary cut open with a scalpel showing the unfertilized eggs.
The flower has opened, showing the male and female reproductive structures.