The Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis)
One of the nicest flowers that I know has to be the Hibiscus flower. The plant grows as a bush, a shrub or as a small tree which is in leaf all year round. There are some 300 varieties known of the Hibiscus; the plant commonly grown here in Mallorca is the Hibiscus rosa-sinensisæ, also known as Chinese Hibiscus or China Rose. The plant belongs to the family of Malvaceæ. Its magnificent flowers are up to 15 cm in diameter with colours ranging from pink to white, and from yellow to red.
The Spanish call this plant Rosa de China (Chinese Rose), whilst the Mallorcans call it Hibiscus de Xina. The plant is in full bloom now; flowers are out from April through to September. If you own a Mediterranean garden, the Hibiscus is a must, even though it is not native here but hails from East Asia.
The flowers are edible. Young leaves are sometimes used as a spinach substitute.
Chinese hibiscus is a sweet, astringent, cooling herb that checks bleeding, soothes irritated tissues and relaxes spasms. The flowers are aphrodisiac, demulcent, emmenagogue, emollient and refrigerant. They are used internally in the treatment of excessive and painful menstruation, cystitis, venereal diseases, feverish illnesses, bronchial catarrh, coughs and also, to promote hair growth. The leaves are anodyne, aperient, emollient and laxative. A decoction is used as a lotion in the treatment of fevers. The leaves and flowers are beaten into a paste and poulticed onto cancerous swellings and mumps. The flowers are used in the treatment of carbuncles, mumps, fever and sores.
Thanks are due to arbolesornamentales.com for the bottom photograph. Muchas gracias. The details on medicinal properties were taken from the ibiblio.org website. Many thanks.