The saying, “All things bright and beautiful …” truly represents the hibiscus with its large, conspicuous and trumpet-shaped flower. Hibiscus (a Greek word “hibiskos” which means marshmallow and named by Pedanius Dioscorides), is a genus of a flowering plant in the mallow family Malvaceae. It has several species and native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions of the world with dark green leaves that are largely divided into four groups: Tropical hibiscus, Rose of Sharon, hardy Hibiscus and all the various species of Hibiscus. The flowers come in many colours, ranging from red, yellow, white, or peach and can be as big as 6 inches wide. They are planted singly or grown as an edging plant.
Hibiscus plays ecological, medicinal, ornamental and cultural purposes. The flowers are attractive to butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and other pollinators including serving as food to many insects. Egyptians used the red flowers – Hibiscus sabdariffa, the most popular variety, as “hibiscus tea” to lower body temperature, treat heart and nerve diseases, and as a diuretic to increase urine production. In Nigeria, the drink made from dried hibiscus leaves is used to make a refreshing drink popularly known as “Zobo” and is better served chilled. In the Victorian era, Hibiscus flower was considered a representation of glory and was only gifted to people considered the best, most beautiful and worthy enough of this gorgeous flower. For the Chinese, the hibiscus or Chinese rose is associated with wealth and fame while its gentle flower connects with a young girl.
In LUFASI, our beautiful Hibiscus and Butterfly Gardens play host to the variety of hibiscus plant species.