Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Kissed the Hibiscus

It’s hibiscus season again. The plants in my backyard (and side yard as shown) are in full, incredible bloom! I have seen various flowering plants – I understand there are over 200 varieties – but each year these come up with blossoms that knock my socks off. It’s quite a display for a plant whose name means “delicate beauty.” Perhaps that refers less to the physical characteristics of the hibiscus than to its essence. Lots of benefits have been ascribed to the hibiscus.

Have you ever had hibiscus tea? I must have. It’s pretty hard not to have tasted it. Hibiscus is in lots of herbal teas and comes available with blueberry, coconut, vanilla, pineapple, even sangria flavors among others. Yogi Tea, Tazo, Republic of Tea, Stash, even Lipton all have hibiscus varieties.

Have you shampooed with the flower? I haven’t but it is tempting. It supposedly nourishes hair and slows premature graying (a little late for me, there). I wonder if it colors the hair. This might be something to experiment with.

Have you eaten hibiscus? No, not yet, though I have eaten nasturtiums. I’ve been reading that the flowers can be added to salads, is available as hibiscus honey and syrup, and can be made into tea at home.

Have you used hibiscus medicinally? Can’t say I have. This needs looking into. The plant has a long history of medical use. Claims have been made for its use as an antioxident, as a help in keeping the digestive tract functioning regularly, can help in weight loss, etc. There’s quite a long list of healthy possibilities.

Have you kissed a hibiscus flower? I did yesterday, in appreciation. What a pleasure to have this dazzling plant growing in my yard. I kissed the hibiscus not because of its useful values, which seem to be extensive, but because of its nature. It is what it is and can be appreciated on many levels. Even on the most obvious one – its delicate beauty.

What does hibiscus mean? http://www.flower-meaning.info/hibiscus.php


  1. I just read this on SWW and wondered where in the world you live. Now that I'm a transplant to NC , I'm thinking I could enjoy what you do. But everyone here takes theirs in for the winter. Must you get a particular variety?

    Thanks for writing such an informative and charming article.

  2. Hi, JLC. Thanks for the kind words. I live in southern NJ. It certainly isn't tropical yet my hibiscus comes back each year. It looks like they won't though. The stalks get blanched and the plant looks dead in the spring when the other flowers start to bloom. I started to pull them up the first year until my brother-in-law told me to leave them alone because they would come back. And they do. You probably shouldn't have any problem in NC. I don't claim to be an expert, I'm just recording what goes on in my backyard. I hope this you enjoy your hibiscus.