Hibiscus is from the Mallow family (the family Malvaceae) which comprises both annual and perennial herbs and soft-woody shrubs and trees. The genus Hibiscus, also known as the Rose Mallow, is a large genus of about 200-220 species of flowering plants. The name “Hibiscus” comes from hibiscos, the old Greek name for the common marsh mallow. Hibiscus plants are native to warm, temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. The most commonly grown species is the Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis, which means China Rose.
Hibiscus plants bloom from mid-summer until the first frost. Some Hibiscus plants produce flowers year-round. Although the flowering of the Hibiscus flower only lasts a day, the Hibiscus plant can produce up to a hundred blooms in a season.
Hibiscus flowers are bisexual, regular, trumpet-shaped and often showy and solitary. The have five or more petals. Hibiscus flowers may reach up to 12 inches in diameter. These flowers can range in color from white, yellow to pink, red and purple.
Most Hibiscus flowers are used as ornamental flowers. Hibiscus flowers are also used in the processing of juices, jellies, jams, ice cream and flavors. Sometimes Hibiscus flowers are used as a natural source of food colouring.
Often Hibiscus flowers are used a primary ingredient in many herbal teas. Hibiscus tea is a popular drink that has many medicinal properties. Hibiscus tea contains high concentrations of flavonoids called anthocyanins that are antiflammotory. Hibiscus tea is used internally for stimulating appetite, soothing irritated tissues. The tea from the petals of the Hibiscus flower is used to treat painful and excessive menstruation and to prevent miscarriage. It is also used to treat cystitis, venereal diseases, feverish illnesses, bronchial catarrh and to promote hair growth. The Hibiscus flower tea reduces cholesterol level in their blood.
The Hibiscus flower is traditionally worn by Hawaiian women. A single Hibiscus flower is tucked behind the ear. Which ear is used indicates the wearer’s availability for marriage. The Hibiscus flower behind a girl’s right ear means “I have a lover or a husband” and if its behind her left ear, it means “I seek a lover or a husband”. The flower behind both ears means that woman is taken but prefers another lover.
No one can deny the delicate beauty of the Hibiscus flower and this makes it a symbol of delicate and fragile beauty.
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