Red hibiscus

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The genus Hibiscus comprises plants also commonly called hibiscus and less widely known as rosemallow. The large genus of about 200–220 species of flowering plants in the family Malvaceae (the mallow family, along with members like cacao, cotton, okra, baobab and durian) 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 or more petals, ranging from white to pink, red, purple or yellow, and from 4-15 cm broad.The color of the Hibiscus grows darker as it ages. The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule splits open at maturity.

Many species are grown for their showy flowers or used as landscape shrubs. Hibiscus is also a primary ingredient in many herbal teas.
, the drink is known as agua de Jamaica and is quite popular for its color, tanginess and mild flavor; once sugar is added, it tastes somewhat like cranberry juice. Dieters or persons with kidney problems often take it without adding sugar for its beneficial properties and as a natural diuretic. It is made by boiling the dehydrated flowers in water; once it is boiled, it is allowed to cool and drunk with ice.1

In Egypt and Sudan, roselle petals are used to make a tea named after the plant karkade.

Hibiscus, especially white hibiscus, is considered to have medicinal properties in the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda. Roots make various concoctions believed to cure various ailments.

The natives of southern India use the Red hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) for hair care purposes. The red flower and leaves, extracts of which can be applied on hair to tackle hair-fall and dandruff on the scalp. It is used to make hair-protective oils. A simple application involves soaking the leaves and flowers in water and using a wet grinder to make a thick paste, and used as a natural shampoo. its petals are used to cure fever while its roots are used to cure cough.

In the Philippines, the gumamela (local name for hibiscus) is used by children as part of a bubble-making pastime. The flowers and leaves are crushed until the sticky juices come out. Hollow papaya stalks are then dipped into this and used as straws for blowing bubbles.

The hibiscus flower is traditionally worn by Hawaiian women. A single flower is tucked behind the ear. Which ear is used indicates the wearer’s availability for marriage.

Camera used:
NIKON COOLPIX S500

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