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Hibiscus or rosemallow

Hibiscus rosa sinen-sis

Description:

Common uses/hazards/importance: In Singapore, the plant is found in the wild but is often cultivated for purposes such as an environmental alternative to road dividers. Locals call the flower bunga raya or "flower of celebration". Hibiscus flowers are also used by Malays as a food dye in colouring toddy, agar-agar jellies, pineapple slices and cooked vegetables. A juice-drink made of hibiscus flowers was developed and is marketed together by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Universiti Malaya and the Trengganu government. A decoction of hibiscus roots was offered, in Malay traditional healing, for the relief of venereal diseases and fever. The white and red flowers, made into a decoction, was drunk as an antidote to poison. The juice of white coloured flowers was given to those suffering from seriawan, an ailment symptomatically similar to trush, sprue or diphteria. An infusion of the flowers was used as an expectorant in bronchitis, and after it was left overnight exposed to dew, it was used to treat gonorrhoea. Leaves were applied to boils and as poultices to provide relief from headaches and swellings. A preparation from the roots was used as eye-drops for sore eyes. In the Philippines the flower buds, made into pulp, was applied to boils, mumps and swollen cancerous areas. The Dutch used the red flowers with papaya seeds to initiate an abortion of a foetus. Dutch midwives used the mucilage in labour and also gave draughts made of the juice of hibiscus leaves to women in labour. Distinguishing features: Tree: It is a small tree, an evergreen shrub, growing to a maximum of 10 m in the wilds. Bark is light-grey, easily peelable and smooth. Leaves: The leaves are ovate, simple, spirally arranged, 8 to 10.5 cm long and have a long stalk. Flowers: They are single, bisexual, have a stalk, arise from upper leaf axils and grow up to 25 cm in width. The five free petals joined at the base may be white, yellow or red in nature. Sepals are joined in a five-lobed cup with an epicalyx of five to seven lobes. Superior ovary has five stigmas with a long style. The plants flower perennially. Fruits: The ovoid fruits have up to 20 seeds, are beaked and split into five parts. Indigenous? Yes Endemic? No (Native to Hawaii) Invasive? No Other interesting historical, cultural, or ecological information: The juice of the hibiscus petals and flowers was used as a dye by the Chinese and Indians to blacken the eyebrows and hair. This usage was passed on to the Arabs and the Portuguese. Malays used the flowers in exorcism for epidemics and diseases. In Jamaica, it was used to polish shoes, hence the name, shoe flower. Hibiscus flowers are worn by women in the Pacific islands to show their status of being single.

Habitat:

Geographic area of origin: The exact origin of the plant Hibiscus rosa -sinensis is unknown. Though it has been in cultivation in China, Japan and the Pacific islands for an equally long time, it is generally thought to have originated in South China. The plant with deep-red flowers is believed to have an Asian origin, hence the name rosa-sinensis meaning 'rose of China' Date and method of arrival in Hawaii: Early 1920's The native plants in the genus Hibiscus in Hawaiʻi are thought to have derived from four independent colonization events: two for the five endemic species (four closely related species plus the yellow-flowered species) and one each for the two indigenous species

Notes:

Species Identification Sheet Common name: Hibiscus or rosemallow Scientific name: Hibiscus rosa sinen-sis Geographic area of origin: The exact origin of the plant Hibiscus rosa -sinensis is unknown. Though it has been in cultivation in China, Japan and the Pacific islands for an equally long time, it is generally thought to have originated in South China. The plant with deep-red flowers is believed to have an Asian origin, hence the name rosa-sinensis meaning 'rose of China' Common uses/hazards/importance: In Singapore, the plant is found in the wild but is often cultivated for purposes such as an environmental alternative to road dividers. Locals call the flower bunga raya or "flower of celebration". Hibiscus flowers are also used by Malays as a food dye in colouring toddy, agar-agar jellies, pineapple slices and cooked vegetables. A juice-drink made of hibiscus flowers was developed and is marketed together by the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute, Universiti Malaya and the Trengganu government. A decoction of hibiscus roots was offered, in Malay traditional healing, for the relief of venereal diseases and fever. The white and red flowers, made into a decoction, was drunk as an antidote to poison. The juice of white coloured flowers was given to those suffering from seriawan, an ailment symptomatically similar to trush, sprue or diphteria. An infusion of the flowers was used as an expectorant in bronchitis, and after it was left overnight exposed to dew, it was used to treat gonorrhoea. Leaves were applied to boils and as poultices to provide relief from headaches and swellings. A preparation from the roots was used as eye-drops for sore eyes. In the Philippines the flower buds, made into pulp, was applied to boils, mumps and swollen cancerous areas. The Dutch used the red flowers with papaya seeds to initiate an abortion of a foetus. Dutch midwives used the mucilage in labour and also gave draughts made of the juice of hibiscus leaves to women in labour. Distinguishing features: Tree: It is a small tree, an evergreen shrub, growing to a maximum of 10 m in the wilds. Bark is light-grey, easily peelable and smooth. Leaves: The leaves are ovate, simple, spirally arranged, 8 to 10.5 cm long and have a long stalk. Flowers: They are single, bisexual, have a stalk, arise from upper leaf axils and grow up to 25 cm in width. The five free petals joined at the base may be white, yellow or red in nature. Sepals are joined in a five-lobed cup with an epicalyx of five to seven lobes. Superior ovary has five stigmas with a long style. The plants flower perennially. Fruits: The ovoid fruits have up to 20 seeds, are beaked and split into five parts. Date and method of arrival in Hawaii: Early 1920's The native plants in the genus Hibiscus in Hawaiʻi are thought to have derived from four independent colonization events: two for the five endemic species (four closely related species plus the yellow-flowered species) and one each for the two indigenous species. Indigenous? Yes Endemic? No (Native to Hawaii) Invasive? No Other interesting historical, cultural, or ecological information: The juice of the hibiscus petals and flowers was used as a dye by the Chinese and Indians to blacken the eyebrows and hair. This usage was passed on to the Arabs and the Portuguese. Malays used the flowers in exorcism for epidemics and diseases. In Jamaica, it was used to polish shoes, hence the name, shoe flower. Hibiscus flowers are worn by women in the Pacific islands to show their status of being single.

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blanco.thomas12
Spotted by
blanco.thomas12

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Spotted on Aug 14, 2012
Submitted on Sep 19, 2012

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