What completes the picture of Hawaiian girls performing ‘Hula’? A ‘Hibiscus flower’ tucked behind the ears of ‘single girls’. This pretty flower exists in a wide range of 200-220 species. It blooms in a various hues of colour ranging from commonly found red, pink , white, yellow, purple to exquisite multicolored ones. The shrub is commonly found in warmer, tropical, sub-tropical regions all over the world. The name “hibiscus” has been derived from Greek word -hibískos, a name given by Pedanius Dioscorides. It belongs to mallow family named as Malvaceae. This includes both annual as well as perennial varieties growing upto 2-4 m.
Leaves growing alternatively on stems are simple, maybe oval to lance-like in shape having toothed, at times lobed margin. The flowers generally large in size, prominent, trumpet shaped have petals five or at times more in number and 4 to 18 cms broad having single as well as double sets of petals. In certain species the flowers changes colour as the day progresses. The fruit, a dry capsule having five lobes with each lobe enclosing several seeds, releases them when the capsule splits up at maturity.
The flower generally has a short span of life of 12 hours, (which can prolonged if blooming bud is plucked and refrigerated and taken out in evening when needed) but it blooms in numbers during the spring season. It can be easily decorated, though having a shorter span-life it can stay as such without wilting even in absence of water, in a vase, till it’s the natural time for it to close.
A species of hibiscus- Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis exhibits a genetic characteristic polyploidy, it is a characteristic where the species have complete chromosomes sets more than two in number, which is not likely most of other species even human beings. In this condition the offspring may exhibit qualities quite different from parent or even any ancestors. They may possibly express any or all of the distinctiveness of the prior generations. It is this characteristic of hibiscus that it is a subject of experiment to produce many unique varieties by hobbyists producing both sterile as well as fertile new varieties.
Hibiscus contains an enzyme inhibitor which blocks the production of amylase. Amylase is an enzyme that breaks down complex sugars and starches. Adding of hibiscus tea in your personal diet will reduce the absorption of dietary carbohydrates and will assist in weight loss.