Did you know that Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie named her first novel Purple Hibiscus after the delicate Hibiscus flower?
Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus is quite large, comprising several hundred species that are native to warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions throughout the world. The eight hibiscus species that are known globally today were originally native to Mauritius, Madagascar, Fiji, Hawaii, and either China or India.
The tea made of the calyces of Hibiscus is known by many names in many countries around the world and is served both hot and cold. The beverage is well known for its red color, tartness, and unique flavor. Additionally, it is highly nutritious because of its vitamin C content. A cold beverage can be prepared by first steeping the petals in hot water until the colors are leached from the petals. Fresh juices, ice teas, and syrups can also be made from the Hibiscus flower.
The Hibiscus plant is rich in nutritional components such as proteins, dietary fibers, fat, carotene, riboflavin, anthocyanins, ascorbic acid, niacin, iron, and vitamin C. Hibiscus has also been found to be a good source of minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and calcium.