Hibiscus Facts

Hibiscus Facts
Hibiscus, also known as rose mallow, is a plant that belongs to the mallow family. There are over 200 species of hibiscus that can be found in the warm and tropical regions all over the world. Hibiscus grows on well-drained soils in the sunny areas. This plant is best known by its beautiful flowers. Hibiscus is usually cultivated for ornamental purposes, but it can be also used in human diet, as a cure for various disorders and as a source of natural dyes. Wild types of hibiscus are important source of food for larvae of certain insects. Several species of Hawaiian hibiscus are endangered and extremely rare in the wild due to habitat loss and diseases.
Interesting Hibiscus Facts:
Depending on the species, hibiscus can grow in a form of evergreen bush or small tree (that can reach up to 15 feet in height).
Hibiscus has green, lanceolate leaves with toothed edges. Leaves are alternately arranged on the branches.
Hibiscus develops large, trumpet-shaped flower without scent. Flower consists of five or more petals that can be white, yellow, orange, purple, pink, red or blue in color. It contains both male (stamen) and female (pistil) reproductive organs.
Bees, butterflies and hummingbirds are main pollinators of hibiscus flowers.
Hibiscus is known as "shoe flower" in China because people use hibiscus to polish their shoes.
People in Polynesia use fibers from the bark of hibiscus tree to produce grass skirts.
Women in Tahiti and Hawaii wear hibiscus flower behind the right ear when they want to announce that they are single and ready for marriage. Married women wear hibiscus behind the left ear.
Brightly colored flowers of hibiscus are rich source of natural dyes that are used in the food industry. Women in China use dyes extracted from hibiscus flowers to dye their eyebrows and hair.
Hibiscus flowers have citrus-like taste. They can be used for the preparation of soups, chutneys, salads, curries, jellies and jams. Hibiscus leaves can be boiled and used for dishes that are normally prepared with spinach.
The most popular beverage made of hibiscus is tea (made of dry flowers). Besides pleasant taste, tea made of hibiscus represents rich source of vitamin C.
According to some medical studies, tea made of hibiscus lowers blood pressure and decreases cholesterol level.
A paste made of crushed hibiscus leaves and flowers can be used as home-made shampoo.
Hibiscus cannabinus is a species of hibiscus that is used in the paper industry.
China and Thailand are the greatest producers of hibiscus in the world.
Depending on the specie, hibiscus grows as annual (plant that finishes its life cycle in one year) or perennial (plant that lives more than two years) plant.

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