The leaves are alternate, simple, and ovate, often with a toothed or lobed margin.
The flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five or more petals, ranging from white to pink, red, purple or yellow, and from 4-15 cm broad.
Many species are grown for their showy flowers or used as landscape shrubs.
One species of Hibiscus, known as Kenaf is extensively used in paper making. Another, roselle, is used as a vegetable and to make herbal teas and jams (especially in the
In Latin America, the drink is known as
The Hibiscus is used as an offering to Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship.
Hibiscus, especially white hibiscus is considered to have medicinal properties in the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda.
The natives of southern
The red flower and leaves, extracts of which can be applied on hair to tackle hair-fall and dandruff on the scalp, is used to make hair protective oils. A simple application involves soaking the leaves and flowers in water and using a wet grinder to make a thick paste, and used as a natural shampoo.
Dried hibiscus is edible, and is often a delicacy in
The Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
The ma‘o hau hele is the state flower of Hawai‘i.
The Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of
The Native Hibiscus is a national emblem of the Stolen Generation of indigenous peoples in
Flowers: The Greenhouse Nursery, Mannagudda, Mangalore
Photos: Lionel Aranha
Each flower is a soul blossoming out to nature
- Gerard De Nerval (French Poet, Essayist & Transalator)