Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae.
The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees.
There are about 220 different species of hibiscus in the world, and each variety differs in size, shape, and color.
Hibiscus is native to warm temperate and tropical regions. It tend to grow in wet or swampy areas.
The leaves are alternate, ovate to lanceolate, often with a toothed or lobed margin.
Hibiscuses are renowned for their large, showy flowers. The flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five or more petals, colour from white to pink, red, orange, peach, yellow or purple, and from 4 to 18 cm (1.6 to 7 in) broad.
The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule dehisces (splits open) at maturity. It is of red and white colors.
Hibiscus plants provide important ecological, aesthetic, culinary, and medicinal values.
The most popular and conspicuous use for hibiscus flowers is decorative.
Many species are grown for their showy flowers or used as landscape shrubs, and are used to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Ecologically, the large hibiscus flowers provide nectar to pollinators.
A tea made from hibiscus flowers is known by many names around the world and is served both hot and cold. The beverage is known for its red colour, tart flavour. It is rich in vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants.
The health benefits of hibiscus tea include its ability to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol, helps in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety, helps fight bacteria, disturbed digestive and immune system, inflammatory problems and liver diseases, as well as cancer. It can also speed up the metabolism and help in healthy, gradual weight loss.
Hibiscus sabdariffa is most commonly used to make hibiscus tea.
Dried hibiscus is edible, and it is often a delicacy in Mexico. It can also be candied and used as a garnish, usually for desserts.
The name ‘Hibiscus’ comes from hibiskos, the old Greek name for the common marsh mallow.
The red hibiscus is the flower of the Hindu goddess Kali, and appears frequently in depictions of her in the art of Bengal, India, often with the goddess and the flower merging in form. The hibiscus is used as an offering to goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship.
Hibiscus is considered a very feminine flower and so is usually given or worn by women. In North America especially, a hibiscus means a perfect wife or woman.
In Victorian times, giving a hibiscus meant that the giver was acknowledging the receiver’s delicate beauty.
No movie or painting in a tropical land is complete without showing a girl with a flower in her hair. The flowers used are often hibiscus flowers.
Tattoos with hibiscus flowers once upon a time were popular only in the Hawaiian Islands, but with time, the image of this beautiful plant has been encountered in the motives of tattoos all over the world.