Hibiscus Flower Meaning And Symbolism

Hibiscus flowers remind us of gorgeous tropical locations as one of the commonly used symbols of natural beauty you can find there. 

It’s a testament to their beauty and our love for these flowers that while they aren’t native to Hawaii, they are one of the first images we think of when we picture Hawaii. 

They are grown all over the world for their unusual flowers and scent, but have you considered what the flower means?

Hibiscus plants thrive in tropical climates, but they are mostly hardy and will survive colder climates. 

These captivating flowers can be found in many places, and come in various shapes and colors, which can change the meaning behind the enigmatic flowers.

Behind The Name: What Does ‘Hibiscus’ Mean?

The name ‘hibiscus’, which refers to the whole genus of these gorgeous plants, comes from the Greek word ἰβίσκος or ibískos

This was the first name given to Althaea officinalis or the marshmallow plant, somewhere around 40-90 AD. 

It translates to ‘mallow’, which the hibiscus flower is part of.

Pedanius Dioscorides, a renowned botanist, physician and Roman army doctor named the hibiscus. 

His book ‘On Medical Material’ or De materia medica became the bedrock of modern pharmaceutical medicine, and was widely used up until the Renaissance.

You’ll find several names for the plants in the hibiscus genus, including rose mallow, rose of sharon, and tropical hibiscus.

One of the most well-known varieties of hibiscus is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (see also Types Of Hibiscus), or the Chinese hibiscus, grown for its beautiful ornamental value. 

What Does a Hibiscus Flower Represent?

Hibiscus flowers are valued throughout the world. These captivating flowers are traditionally considered to be the epitome of beauty. 

When these plants are in bloom, they often stop people in their tracks, as they instill a great admiration for the show they put on. 

In some parts of the world, hibiscus flowers are given to women to tell them they are as perfect as the flowers themselves.

In others, the meaning behind the blooms depend on the color the flowers take, and the cultural lens the gift is viewed through.

What Does a White Hibiscus Flower Symbolize?

White hibiscus flowers represent grace, femininity, and beauty, like a lot of white blooms. They also embody honesty or sincerity, strengthening any message you choose to give someone with flowers.

The Meaning Behind a Yellow Hibiscus Flower

Yellow hibiscus flowers are linked with positivity, well wishes, joy, prosperity, and good luck.

What Message Does a Pink Hibiscus Carry?

Pink hibiscus flowers symbolize affection of all kinds, whether that’s a friendship, a confession of your feelings, or a reminder of your love for someone.

What Does A Red Hibiscus Signify?

Red hibiscus flowers signify desire, passion, and romance. It’s a heartfelt expression of your deepest feelings for someone. 

In some parts of the world, buying red hibiscus flowers is said to invite love into your life. 

The Meaning Behind A Purple Hibiscus

Purple hibiscus flowers denote wisdom, intrigue, and nobility, like other purple flowers. They indicate that you think the recipient is a rare kind of person.

The Cultural Significance Behind The Hibiscus Flower

Hibiscus flowers are so revered for their beauty that they are the chosen flower of both Haiti and Hawaii.

Traditionally, hibiscus flowers are associated with beauty and youth. In the Victorian Language of Flowers, the beautiful bloom of a hibiscus symbolizes a fragile beauty.

In some parts of Asia, hibiscus flowers carry a message of enjoying something while it lasts, particularly notoriety, personal gain, or something fickle which won’t stand the test of time. 

Hibiscus flowers are also useful in both medicine and cooking. The flowers themselves have a lot of vitamin C, and they’re a cornerstone of some herbal teas, as they contain a lot of antioxidants.

What Does A Hibiscus Tattoo Mean?

Hibiscus tattoos usually represent Hawaii, and its culture, but that’s not the only meaning behind this enigmatic tattoo.

Hibiscus flower tattoos also signify desire, a love of beauty, friendship, passion, and nature. It can also be a reminder to enjoy life as it is now, or an embodiment of someone dear to you.

When Should You Give Someone Hibiscus Flowers?

Hibiscus flowers can be given at any time of year, for any reason you can think of. 

Hibiscus flowers are perfect for milestones to commemorate a significant moment in life, to add something special to a great achievement. 

They also signify great opportunity or possibility, so they are a perfect gift for someone who has just completed their studies, or something which has opened up new chances or possibilities. 

These gorgeous blooms don’t last very long, so if you prefer, you might want to give them to someone alongside some longer-lasting flowers. 

Otherwise, you could end up giving the wrong impression to someone who reads a lot into things!

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