Saturday, 16 September 2006



Finally, a flower which I know what the name is. Hibiscus is also another common flower in Singapore and also in Australia. This photo was shot in Melbourne University sidewalk where there was many flowers blooming along the pathway.

Hibiscus or Rosemallow is a large genus of about 200-220 species of flowering plants in the family Malvaceae, native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, and woody shrubs and small trees. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to lanceolate, often with a toothed or lobed margin. The flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five petals, ranging from white to pink, red, purple or yellow, and from 4-15 cm broad. The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule splits open at maturity.

One species of Hibiscus, known as Kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus), is extensively used in paper making. Another, roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is used as a vegetable and to make herbal teas and jams (especially in the Caribbean). In Mexico, the jamaica drink is quite popular and is made from calyces of the roselle plant. In Egypt and Sudan, roselle petals are used to make a beloved tea named after the plant, karkade, which can be served hot or chilled with ice.

Extracts of some hibiscus species are claimed to have health benefits, including prevention of constipation, bladder infections and nausea, and high blood pressure. The studies that yielded these results are debated. An unspecified hibiscus plant is used to make a herbal tea, typically blended with rosehip.

The bark of the hibiscus contains strong fibers. They can be obtained by letting the stripped bark sit in the sea for some time in order to let the organic material rot away. In Polynesia these fibers (fau, pūrau) are used for making grass skirts.

The City of Hibiscus is another name for the city of Chengdu in China.

Some Hibiscus species and cultivars such as 'Texas Star' look superficially similar to marijuana at a glance. This led to a police raid in one instance.


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