The Hibiscus Story | Journeying Back to the Islands

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“The Hibiscus Story | Journeying Back to the Islands” is a personal story. Many islanders can relate to its colorful assortment of flowers and use as a hedging.

You may be familiar with this flower even if you never had it on your property. It’s very common in some areas to the point where it could be taken for granted. But it’s quite noticeable.

I was always aware of a few colors such as red, pink, and white, but was amazed to discover so much more information about the hibiscus. Before I try to entertain you with my own story, let’s take a closer look at some facts.

12 Facts about the Hibiscus | Did You Know?

  1. There are several hundred species in the mallow family with the most common name being hibiscus.
  2. One other name it is referred by is the rose of Sharon. This is another flower also from the mallow family.
  3. Several species are found throughout the world in warm, sub-tropical, and tropical climates.
  4. The colors range from white to various other shades such as pink, red, blue, purple, yellow, peach, and orange.
  5. Some species change color as they age.
  6. In some species, the flower closes or goes to “sleep” during the night. This transformation takes place as it starts to get dark.
  7. It is used as tea, hot or cold, in many parts of the world, and contains Vitamin C.
  8. The tea is also known as sorrel. This is different from the Jamaican sorrel popular at Christmas time.
  9. It is used as food in various forms (candied, as a vegetable, and in soups) by different nationalities.
  10. Bees, butterfly, and hummingbirds find this flower attractive.
  11. It is used as ornaments worn around the head, to decorate tables, and printed on fabric.
  12. The yellow hibiscus is the official state flower of Hawaii. Various species are also of national significance in other countries.

How many of these fun facts did you know? What are some others you know that aren’t mentioned here? How many colors are you aware of?

I would love to hear your own hibiscus story.

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Yellow Hibiscus | Original State Flower of Hawaii.

My Hibiscus Story | From an Islander

“How many colors and varieties do they come in?” I asked my coworker as we strolled along the property. I had an hour lunch break to escape to this area of the 2200-acre property I hadn’t yet explored.

I worked in the Resident Manager’s Office at the Great House which overlooked the villas scattered along the hillside. Lunch breaks usually meant going to the adjoining guest dining room or ordering from the beach restaurant.

The main road separated the two–the elevated grounds of the Great House and villas and the lower beach complex including the extensive golf course.

That day I wanted to explore the villa grounds and unwind with a change of pace and scenery.

The grounds were manicured with red, yellow, white, pink, and peach hibiscus. The more common colors, red and pink, were scattered throughout other parts of the property.

I discovered at least three different varieties ranging from trumpet shaped with five petals to curly shapes I’ve never seen before. Even the leaves vary in size and shape.

Many Jamaicans plant hibiscus as hedging around their homes. Some hotel properties, like this one, make a spectacular show of their landscape as they bloom all year.

Jamaica doesn’t have defined seasons. The weather is basically constant throughout the year. In the Northern Hemisphere, people eagerly proclaim, “Spring is here!”

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My Favorite Flower | In Retrospect … the Hibiscus

I realize, in retrospect, that the hibiscus is my favorite flower. An assortment of colorful petals popping out from a vibrant green hedging makes my heart blossom with love and admiration.

I also recall the fabric place mats I’d designed and embroidered with bright red hibiscus surrounded by forest green leaves.

My love for the hibiscus is multi fold …

  • It’s an attractive flower in a wide assortment of colors and shapes.
  • I’m nostalgic about that grand tourist destination I worked at in my native island of Jamaica many years ago.
  • I’ve made drawings and embroidered the flower in my moments of creativity.
  • I get to share in another creative arena using a medium dear to my heart … writing.

Beautiful memories relived in unexpected moments are like an exotic painting. The one you surround with two layers of complementary matting in an expensive gold-leafed frame.

You display it for the world to step into that special moment. I just did. I stepped back in time to relive that walk, drawn with admiration to living art …

… revealing what could have laid dormant as a potential plant and flower. It broke through the soil instead to grow and blossom, creating memorable moments for passersby.

The hibiscus did that for me. It always seems to transport me into my creative space of arts, craft, and writing. Always telling a story.

As I grow I also blossom. Hopefully, I will create memories for those of you who stop by to see the work of art I’m creating.

The cycle continues with your journey as you grow and blossom into your purpose and destiny. Just like my ever-inspiring hibiscus.

There you have it … my favorite flower, the hibiscus story.

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What’s Your Favorite Flower? | Why Is it?

Everyone has favorites. Favorite people, places, and things make great stories. People love to hear and tell stories. And they vary from person to person, country to country, and region to region on the same topics.

Ask 100 individuals from the same neighborhood whose favorite flower is the hibiscus to tell you their story. Every aspect of it will be related quite differently.

Your favorite flower may not be the hibiscus. Do you have a story? I would love to hear what that is. Our readers would appreciate what you have to share, I’m sure.

Take it a bit further and tell us about the climate this flower grows in.

If you enjoyed this article, “The Hibiscus Story | Journeying to the Islands,” please add your voice. Also, share this article with others.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. I will be happy to continue this conversation with you.

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A Hummingbird Merging Ecosystems with a Hibiscus Flower.

2 thoughts on “The Hibiscus Story | Journeying Back to the Islands”

  1. Interesting! I have a double petaled one. Did you know that some are more hardy than others? Some are annuals and others perennials.

    Reply
    • Thank you, Liz, for taking the time to read this article. I also appreciate the information you have shared. With so many species, the varieties are amazing!

      Are they blooming now? I would love to see some pictures.

      Thanks a lot.

      Reply

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