The hibiscus flower symbolizes femininity, fleeting fame, beauty, and success. This type of flower thrives in tropical climates that receive full sun. It is also the official state flower of Hawaii, which works perfectly with its symbolism and meaning.
So, what is the brief history of the hibiscus flower? What does it symbolize specifically in Hawaii? Do the different colors of hibiscus flowers have different meanings? What are some general facts about the plant?
Here is the complete guide to the hibiscus flower’s meaning and symbolism.
A Brief History of the Hibiscus Flower
The hibiscus plant is native to North America and Asia, though its origins are unknown. Some botanists speculate that continental drift separated hibiscus flowers that originally grew in one area together. There is also speculation that all 300 varieties of hibiscus flowers are derived from one plant as they produce their own seeds.
The name hibiscus comes from the Greek word “hibiskos,” meaning “mallow.” Hence the hibiscus flower belongs to the mallow family, also referred to as the Malvaceae family. Some experts believe that the ancient botanist Pedanius Dioscorides named the hibiscus.
According to Filipino folklore, a man named Gumeng fell in love with Mula, a Diwata, a supernatural entity that watches over nature. Their love was forbidden, but they could not resist each other, so Gumeng was stabbed in the back by a demon. When Mula found her lover dead and bleeding, she tried to heal him with her powers but failed. In her grief, Mula stabbed herself in the heart. The earth opened and swallowed the two lovers, and soon after, a hibiscus flower grew from the ground where the two lovers were taken under.
What Does the Hibiscus Plant Symbolize?
The hibiscus has historically been associated with femininity and symbolizes glory and beauty. The hibiscus can also represent the fleeting nature of beauty and glory as the flower’s petals fade fairly quickly when placed in a vase.
In Victorian times, people would use the language of flowers, a form of subtle communication using flowers to symbolize different feelings, and this flower meant you recognized someone’s beauty.
In Hindu mythology, the hibiscus flower is a popular motif representing the goddess Kali and the deity Ganesha. The hibiscus is associated with lust and passion, specifically in ancient Egypt. The ancient Egyptians would use the hibiscus petals to brew a tea that they believed acted as an aphrodisiac.
What is the Hibiscus Flower Known For?
The hibiscus flower is a valuable medicine and a beautiful decoration. Many hear the word hibiscus and immediately think of hibiscus tea. Some believe that hibiscus petals offer medicinal value, such as aiding heart disease, curing a common cold, and lowering blood pressure.
The hibiscus flower is popularly associated with paradise or a tropical vacation. The hula girl figurines often placed on the dashboard of a car usually depict a hibiscus flower in her hair and a lei necklace around her neck. Hibiscus flowers are often used to decorate tropical-themed parties.
The hibiscus is South Korea’s national flower, specifically the Hibiscus rosa-sinesis. For the people of South Korea, it serves as a symbol of courage and vitality.
What Does the Hibiscus Flower Symbolize in Hawaii?
The hibiscus is the official state flower of Hawaii, specifically the Hibiscus brackenridgei, a yellow variation of the hibiscus that bears significant meaning for native Polynesians. The hibiscus vines were used to strap together canoes, make sandal straps, and sew clothing.
Women in Hawaii use the hibiscus flower to communicate their relationship status non-verbally. If a woman wears a hibiscus blossom behind her left ear, she displays that she is already in a committed relationship. If a woman wears a hibiscus behind her right ear, she communicates that she is single and open to a new attachment.
What Does a Purple Hibiscus Mean?
A purple hibiscus can symbolize wisdom, royalty, or mystery. As a combination of red and blue, purple evokes feelings of harmony and balance or embracing each other’s differences.
The color purple represents the 7th chakra which rules over your spiritual consciousness. A purple hibiscus can represent a connection with divine or spiritual wisdom.
You can give a purple hibiscus to a partner to express your appreciation for their rare and unique beauty.
What Does a Red Hibiscus Mean?
Red hibiscus flowers symbolize romantic love and passion; however, in Chinese culture, red hibiscus can also symbolize good luck and prosperity. Red is commonly associated with romantic attachment, so a red hibiscus is a perfect gift for a romantic partner when you want to express your passion for them and their delicate beauty.
The 1st chakra, or the root chakra, which rules over your connection to the earth and stability, is represented by red. A red hibiscus can symbolize the fulfillment of your basic needs and your ability to remain rooted in your life.
What Do Yellow Hibiscus Flowers Mean?
The yellow hibiscus is associated with joy, energy, and hospitality. Yellow hibiscus flowers are an excellent choice to decorate for a party or give as a birthday gift, the bright colors emitting a welcoming and mirthful glow.
A yellow variation of the hibiscus flower serves as the official state flower of Hawaii and is often used to make lei necklaces as a sign of welcome and hospitality.
What Do Pink Hibiscus Flowers Mean?
Light pink hibiscus flowers symbolize platonic love and friendship. These are the perfect flowers to give to a family member or loved one for their birthday or special occasion.
Darker or brighter shades of pink hibiscus flowers represent more passionate, romantic, and playful love. The dark pink hibiscus is an excellent gift for a romantic partner on Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or other special occasions.
What are Some Facts about the Hibiscus Flower?
- Common nicknames include the rose of Sharon and the rose mallow.
- It is the official state flower of Hawaii.
- It is also the official national flower of South Korea.
- According to Greek mythology, Adonis turned himself into a hibiscus to keep Persephone and Aphrodite from fighting.
- Hula girls tend to wear a hibiscus flower in their hair. These flowers are also part of lei necklaces as a symbol of friendship and welcome.
Conclusion: What Does a Hibiscus Flower Mean?
The hibiscus flower symbolizes delicate beauty, fleeting glory, and femininity. These beautiful flowers can also bear other meanings depending on the color, such as love, luck, and wisdom. The Hibiscus flower is also the official state flower of Hawaii and serves as a symbol of welcome and hospitality. Along with being the state flower of Hawaii, it is also South Korea’s national flower.