Hibiscus mutabilis

 
Botanical Name: Hibiscus mutabilis
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species: H. mutabilis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Malvales

Common Names: Confederate rose, Dixie rosemallow or the Cotton rosemallow

Habitat :Hibiscus mutabilis is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows in the thickets in S. Japan.

Description:
Hibiscus mutabilis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft).
It is frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.

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Flowers can be double or single and are 4 to 6 inches in diameter; they open white or pink, and change to deep red by evening. The ‘Rubra’ variety has red flowers. Single blooming flowers are generally cup-shaped. Bloom season usually lasts from summer through fall. Propagation by cuttings root easiest in early spring, but cuttings can be taken at almost any time. When it does not freeze, the Confederate rose can reach heights of 12 to 15 feet with a woody trunk; however, a much bushier, 5 or 6 feet plant is more typical and provides more flowering. These plants have a very fast growth rate. The Confederate rose was at one time very common in the area of the Confederate States of America, which is how its common name was derived. It grows well in full sun or partial shade, and prefers rich, well-drained soil.

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Floral colour change:
Flowers are white in the morning, turning pink during noon and red in the evening of the same day. Under laboratory conditions, colour change of petals was slower than that of flowers under outdoor conditions (Wong et al., 2009). Temperature may be an important factor affecting the rate of colour change as white flowers kept in the refrigerator remain white until they are taken out to warm, whereupon they slowly turn pink (Ng, 2006).

The red flowers remain on plants for several days before they abort (Wong et al., 2009). Weight of a single detached flower was 15.6 g when white, 12.7 g when pink and 11.0 g when red. Anthocyanin content of red flowers was 3 times that of pink flowers and 8 times that of white flowers. There was a significant increase in phenolic content with colour change. Overall ranking of AOP of H. mutabilis flowers was red > pink > white
Cultivation:
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun. Prefers a warm but wet winter. This species is not very hardy in Britain, it is frost-tender and top growth will be killed by even a slight frost. However, the roots are somewhat hardier and the plant can resprout from the base after a few degrees of frost. The plant can probably be grown outdoors in the mildest areas of the country especially if given a good mulch in the winter. It is widely cultivated in tropical and occasionally in temperate areas as an ornamental plant, there are many named varieties.
Propagation:
Seed – sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing them as annuals, plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and protect them with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well. If hoping to grow them as perennials, then it is better to grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year and to plant them out in early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter them in a warm greenhouse and plant out after the last expected frosts.
Edible Uses:
Leaves. The leaves contain rutin, but the report does not say what quantity. Root – it is edible but very fibrousy. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour.

Medicinal Uses:
While the roots and leaves of this deciduous bush have medicinal uses, it is the flowers that are used most commonly. Acrid in flavor and neutral in nature, if used internally, it can remove heat from the blood, reduce swelling and detoxify. If pounded and applied externally, it relieves inflammation and reduces swelling. The flower’s nutritional properties are purported to be good for menopausal women. It balances hormones, and purifies your blood. The roots and leaves, ground into paste, is good for treating diabetics with leg problems. The abundant mucilage contained in the tissues makes the plant an effective emollient for burns. Leaves and flowers kill pain; expel phlegm; treat excessive bleeding during menstruation, painful urination, inflammation and snake bites. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of lung ailments.

Leaves and flowers of H. mutabilis are emollient and cooling, and are used to treat swellings and skin infections (Dasuki, 2001). Mucilage from flowers and leaves is used by midwives to facilitate delivery during labour.

Other Uses: …Fibre…A fibre from the bark is used for making cords and rope.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hibiscus_mutabilis
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Hibiscus+mutabilis
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_RST.htm

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