You may think, why the hibiscus called shoeblackplant when it doesn’t look like a shoe at all. The answer is because in mainland India, this Hibiscus flower is very often used to shine shoes.
Etymologically, “Hibiscus” comes from the Greek “Hibiskos”. This name was given by a botanist and doctor of the Roman imperial army named Pedanius Dioscorides, as well as one of the authors of several Roman manuscripts, De Materia Medica.
Hibiscus symbolizes a beautiful young woman, with the subtlety and intelligence they exude. Because it is often given and used to symbolize women, hibiscus named the feminine flower.
For North Americans, hibiscus is a symbol of an extraordinary wife or woman in life, also known as “a perfect wife or woman” or “Rose of Sharon”. While in China, hibiscus is a flower that symbolizes the beauty of fame or personal glory.
Different Colors of Hibiscus Meaning
- White hibiscus flowers symbolize purity, beauty and elegance
- Yellow hibiscus flowers are associated with happiness, sunshine and good luck
- Pink hibiscus flowers have the meaning of friendship and are expressions of all kinds of feelings of love and affection
- The purple hibiscus flower is associated with mystery and a symbol of class
- The red hibiscus flower is a symbol of love and passion
Hibiscus flowers are used as a vegetable and other types are used for paper making, while the most famous use for hibiscus is for herbal tea blends. In addition, hibiscus not only decorates the yard, hibiscus flowers are also chosen as ornamental plants and border plants.
Although odorless, the beautiful and large flowers attract flower lovers to collect them. Hibiscus flowers not only vary in color depending on the cultivar and its hybrids, ranging from white, yellow, orange, pink, dark red, to purple, but its beauty is also displayed through its single flower shape (single petals) or double flowers (corolla).
Because of the beauty of its appearance, Malaysia also chose flowers native to East Asia which are widely planted in tropical and subtropical countries as the national flower, on July 28, 1960 to be exact.
In Okinawa, Japan, hibiscus is used as a hedge plant. In southern Okinawa, this plant, called gushÅnu hana (flower of life after death), is widely planted in tombs.
In China, red flowers are used as food coloring. In India, hibiscus is an important offering flower, especially associated with Lord Ganesha. Hibiscus is also used for polishing shoes.
In Indonesia, the leaves and flowers are used in various traditional medicine. Dried hibiscus is also processed as a tea.
Apart from being an ornamental plant, hibiscus can also be consumed directly or processed first, including being pickled. Hibiscus has also been used for a long time as a natural colorant for food, including noodles.
This plant from the Malvaceae family has the scientific name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, L. In the scientific world, it is also known by its synonym, Hibiscus arnottii Griff. ex Mast., Hibiscus festalis Salisb., Hibiscus boryanus DC., Hibiscus rosiflorus Stokes, Hibiscus storckii Seem., Hibiscus liliiflorus Griff. ex Mast.
The hibiscus flower has a short flowering period, 24 to 48 hours, but its beauty has earned it great nicknames, such as “Queen of Tropical Flowers”, and Queen of Dreams.
This plant is known as chinese hibiscus, shoeblackplant, hawaiian hibiscus, tropical hibiscus, china rose, rose-of-China. The last two names are taken from the scientific name rosa-sinensis, the name given by the Swedish botanist, zoologist, and physician, Carolus Linnaeus (Carl von Linne), who gave the names of plants and animals in a modern system, binomial nomenclature.
Hibiscus plants can grow to a height of 2 to 5 meters. The leaves are broad oval or narrow oval, with a tapered leaf tip. In the tropics or in greenhouses the plant flowers throughout the year, while in the subtropics it blooms from summer to autumn.
Hibiscus flowers consist of five petals, which are protected by additional petals (epicalyx), so that they look like two layers of flower petals. The flower crown consists of five sheets or more if it is a hybrid. The long cylindrical pistil stalk is surrounded by an oval-shaped stamen that is sprinkled with pollen. In the form of a five-chambered capsule contained the seeds.
Trumpet-shaped flowers with a flower diameter of about 6 cm to 20 cm. The pistil (pistillum) protrudes from the base of the flower. Flowers can bloom facing up, down, or sideways. In general, plants do not produce fruit. Plants reproduce by cuttings, grafting, and attachment.
Among the various types of hibiscus plants are hardy and tropical specimens, native plants, annuals, and perennials. There are also related plants, such as hollyhock, common mallow, and even okra. Some of the main categories of hibiscus flowers include:
- Original Hibiscus
Also known as rose mallows, there are about 35 species of hibiscus flower native to the southeastern US. A popular native variety is the scarlet rose mallow, common in Florida, which can grow to a height of 4 to 8 feet (1 to 2.5 m). . Rose mallows are also called swamp hibiscus, and although they grow naturally in wetlands, they will tolerate drier areas.
- Hardy hibiscus
This cold-tolerant perennial shrub can be as beautiful as its tropical counterpart, with large flowers that bloom in a variety of colors. A popular hibiscus variety is the Rose of Sharon, with pink, white, or purple flowers.
- Tropical hibiscus
This type of hibiscus has some overlap with native species growing in Florida and southern Louisiana. The most common tropical hibiscus found in nurseries is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Different cultivars will give you a choice of flower color and size. They can be very large and striking, with bright, rich colors.
- Timeless hibiscus
It is a shrub, which can range from small, dwarf varieties to large, tree-like shrubs. Perennial hibiscus flowers can be hardy or tropical, and include Sharon’s Rose, marsh red hibiscus, mallow rose, and confederate rose.
- Annual hibiscus
It is not a true perennial, but a tropical plant and can be grown as an annual in slightly cooler climates. They are often grown in containers and include Chinese hibiscus and Red Leaf. The former comes in a variety of colors, while the Red Leaf is grown primarily for its deep red foliage.
The Benefits of Hibiscus Flowers
In some countries hibiscus flowers are used as food and drink. Among them are used as salads and cake decorations. Meanwhile, in China, it has long been used as a natural dye for food.
Dried hibiscus flowers are usually used as tea, as well as herbal drinks for treatment. This tea drink in India is known as orhul, bissap (Africa), agua de jamaica (Mexico), karkadé (Egypt and Arabic), sorrel (Jamaica), and in Ghana it is called soobolo.
Especially for hibiscus species or hibiscus cannabinus (kenaf) has its own benefits. Where the hibiscus stem which has a height of 3 meters will be taken from the fiber and used as the basic material for coarse cloth, nets, and paper. In addition, Hibiscus cannabinus has a high ability to absorb carbon dioxide in nature.