Fascinating Hibiscus Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Uses

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Did you know that the Hibiscus is one of the top ten floral names of the world? You might have seen these gorgeous flowers in a lot of Hawaiian-themed movies. In fact, it is the very flower placed on Lilo’s hair in the Disney movie Lilo and Stitch! It is called the Hibiscus and it comes in several different colors and beautifully associated specific meanings and symbols!

Although the hibiscus are beautiful plants, its blooms are short lived. It is most commonly used as an ornamental or medicinal plant. Also, this flower symbolizes all kinds of love. The hibiscus comes in different beautiful colors such as white, red, pink, yellow, orange, and purple. Each of these colors has a very significant meaning.

For example, a white flower means new life while a pink one represents the beauty of a woman. A red hibiscus flower symbolizes love while a fiery orange one means rarity. Other colors such as yellow and purple symbolizes happiness and nobility.

History of a Hibiscus Blossom

The Hibiscus is a flowering plant that first came to mention in 1706 and was popular for its showy five petals and bell-shaped flowers. The floral name hibiscus comes from the Greek word hibiskos meaning marshmallow. Ancient botanist Pedanius Dioscorides also inspired the common name from the Althea officinalis.  It is a family member of the mallow family or Malvaceae family. Other family members of this flower include Alcea and Malva.

Hibiscus flowers are tropical plants that are native to areas with humid climates such as tropical Asia. This tropical flower can also be found growing in other warm places around the world such as Hawaii and Madagascar. Since hibiscus flowers grow in USDA zones 5-9, it can grow in any tropical land such as in warm southeastern regions in the United States as long as it gets full sun. 

The hibiscus are bright flowers that are easily identified in any garden because of its large, showy blossoms. It is sometimes called by different names in many parts of Asia. In Malay, it is called Bunga raya while in China it is called the Chinese rose/China rose. Other common names of this flower include rose mallow or flower-of-an-hour because of its fleeting beauty. 
Some of the famous varieties of hibiscus flowers include the: Chinese hibiscus, Tropical hibiscus, or Hawaiian hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), and Ma’o hau hele (Hibiscus brackenridgei).

yellow hibiscus flower

Symbolism of Hibiscus Blossoms

The hibiscus symbolism stands for one’s physical passion, delicate beauty, honor, and prosperity. It is also popularly known as Hawaii’s state flower and is used in many festive garlands and decorations. 

In South Korea, the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is the country’s national flower. Besides the hibiscus being the state flower of Hawaii, it is also known as the floral national symbol of Malaysia.

The hibiscus is popularly known as a feminine flower. This is because a hibiscus flower is symbolic of love and passion towards a loved one or close friend. In a way, the hibiscus symbolizes the relationship status between two people. 

This beautiful flower can also symbolize romantic love towards a romantic partner. Other things hibiscus symbolize include to symbolize beauty, symbolize friendship, and symbolize power. 

Meaning of Hibiscus Blooms

Hibiscus plants include a very diverse ray of different meanings. Before that, the etymological meaning behind the hibiscus translates to marshmallow – because it resembles the sweet’s soft appearance. The meaning of the hibiscus depends on its bright colors and rich history.

Each hibiscus color is a special color because of the meaning it blossoms into. For example, a blooming flower means female power or female energy and perhaps even the perfect wife. There are quite a few hibiscus color meanings that are definitely very special. Here is the list of each color meaning of the hibiscus flower.

What does a White Hibiscus Flower Mean?

White hibiscus plants flower beholds the meaning of beginnings of a new life, guidance, and divination. It is attributed to good luck and the daily journey of life on earth.

red hibiscus flower

What do Red Hibiscus Flowers Symbolize?

The red hibiscus meaning is associated with both love and lust. Given that the color red is such a famous shade, it is also symbolic of good luck and fortune. 

What does a Yellow Hibiscus Floret Represent?

Yellow species of hibiscus flowers are very special. Yellow Hibiscus flowers embody the happiness and joy of a warm and bright day! 

What does an Orange Hibiscus Bloom Indicate?

Orange hibiscus flowers imply the rarity and uniqueness of each and every individual. Just as each flower is one of a kind, so are you!

What does a Pink Hibiscus Flower Signify?

The color pink signifies the softness of women. With pink rose mallows, it signifies the beauty and delicacy of women. Surprisingly, pink hibiscus flowers also denote the keen attitude and ambition women portray.

In some cases, these flower symbolize platonic love.

What do Purple Hibiscus Flowers Imply?

A purple hibiscus flower meaning is associated with loyalty and peace in the garden or area it prospers. It is also associated with being part of the upper class. These purple flowers are the embodiment of the harmony and balance of the environment. 

What are the Beliefs Accustomed with Hibiscus Flowers?

If you haven’t read it yet, these flowers symbolize love and lust during the time in ancient Egypt. It was believed that creating a tonic from the flower’s petals will grant good fortune and love for those who drink it. It was also said that the flower worn by women shows their genuine interest. 

In some customs during Victorian times, the flowers are adorned with marital wreaths and decorated during ceremonies to symbolize the couple’s eternal love and devotion to each other. During the Victorian era in Victorian England, a hibiscus flower meant acknowledging a receiver’s delicate beauty.

Meanwhile, a different belief is told by Greek mythology. According to the tale, the goddess Aphrodite and Adonis were attracted and in love with each other. The almost-god Adonis was turned into the flower because Aphrodite and Persephone wouldn’t stop arguing over him.

What is the Cultural Significance of Hibiscus Blossoms?

Many cultures have assigned a certain significance to these beautiful flowers. Since the flowers are heavily symbolic of delicate feminine beauty, different cultures have related this flower to women. 

In Hawaiian culture, locals craft a necklace garland made of rose mallow blossoms and are bestowed upon state authorities as a sign of a hearty and friendly welcome. Women have also accustomed tucking the flower behind their ears. Tucked behind the left ear means she is married while the right ear means she’s single.

Other cultures such as Hindu culture associate the hibiscus as exotic flowers. In Hindu mythology, the flowers are traditionally thought to emit divine and primordial energy. This is because it is closely associated with the goddess Kali and deity Ganesha. It is symbolic of the taking of spiritual journeys. 

Meanwhile in Chinese culture, a hibiscus flower symbolizes personal power or personal glory.

What does a Hibiscus Floral Tattoo Symbolize?

This floral tattoo design is for both men and women. A hibiscus tattoo symbolizes the delicate beauty and happiness of most women who choose this design. It also signifies friendliness and happiness.

Uses of the Hibiscus Plant

Planting hibiscus is a great hobby that can provide many benefits. Hibiscus plants are best known for its large flower size and is the perfect gift for housewarming given its gentle nature. Aside from being pretty ornamental flowers, it also has some medicinal and cultural uses. 

The hibiscus is a popular celebration flower that many enjoy as fresh flowers because of the delicate hibiscus smell. It has quite a short vase life and is turned into dried petals to create the famous hibiscus tea. 

In Chinese and Indian cultures, dried petals are also used as dyes for facial makeup or as a shoe dye. Hibiscus bark is also used as common cordage for sandal straps. For Malaysian folks, the flowers are turned into a juice drink that can help treat the common cold, lower blood pressure, and prevent heart disease. During Ramadan, the best way to enjoy these flowers is in a juice mixed with dates and miswak that’s rich in vitamin C.

Meanwhile, its leaves pose a medicinal value when used as a treatment for boils and sores or poultices for headaches and inflammations. The roots made into a decoction also provided relief for a few ailments such as fever and sore eyes. A word of warning that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes. 

Also learn more about different hibiscus varieties and hibiscus care.

~ image source: depositphotos/dovapi

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