Since ancient times, flowers have been widely used for gifts or to decorate our house’s garden. Flowers indeed have symbolic meanings, based on stories, folktales, and myths during the ancient cultures or even now in modern society. Nearly all flowers have their symbolism and meaning, be it from their colour or shape, and so on. Between all those beautiful blooms, today we will talk about the flower, which symbolizes the meaning of femininity and glory. Have you ever heard or seen it? This flower is called “Hibiscus”. It belongs to the Malvaceae family.

Hibiscus is very popular and grown around the world, especially in countries with tropical climates. This flower is the beloved flower of Hawai’i and dubbed as their state flower. If you have ever visited Hawai’i, surely you have seen them blooming around, from red, yellow, to pink, even purple tints. This tropical flower is said to encompass the beauty of the Hawaiian culture and often worn to adorn women’s hair. Besides Hawaii, they are also grown in places like Haiti, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and they come in different sizes, shapes, and colours. But all of them have five petals, circling a tall and stalked centre.

Behind its popularity, Hibiscus has its deep symbolic meaning and different interpretations in several countries, from power, glory, eternity, even to divine-related meaning! Now, we will take you to the explanations of the meaning of this beautiful bloom below.

1. The Bunga Raya of Malaysia

Hibiscus is called the Bunga Raya in Malaysia. ‘Bunga’ means flower, while ‘Raya’ means festive in Malaysia. Back in 1957, when Malaysia regains its independence, they seek a flower to symbolize their identity. In 1960, the people of Malaysia chose Hibiscus Rosa-Sinensis for their national flower. This flower became the symbol of celebration because it expresses their independence.


2. The state flower of Hawaii

Hibiscus is widely known as a flower of Hawaii and named their official state flower. Hawaiians said that it represents power, respect, and hospitality. Their beauty also fits the beauty and elegance of Hawaiian culture. The yellow-coloured Hibiscus can also be found on the state flag of Hawaii.

3. The symbol of femininity

Hibiscus is a symbol of femininity and love. The beauty of this flower represents the charm that every woman possess. The flower is popular among island girls, especially in Hawaii and Tahiti. Women who tucked this flower behind their right ear will give a message that they are single and looking for a relationship. Thus, this flower is said to be the symbol of love and femininity.


4. China’s symbol of wealth and glory

In China, this stunning flower is a symbol of glory and wealth. They symbolize the fleeting nature of fame and personal glory and widely given to either men or women.

5. Symbol of glory and acknowledgement of beauty

During Victorian times, gifting a Hibiscus flower to someone meant that the giver is signifying that the gift giver acknowledges the beauty of the recipient. This flower also represents the glory and only gifted to those who were considered worthy; only the best and the most beautiful ones for this gorgeous flower.

6. Eternity ‘Mugunghwa’ in Korea

The Hibiscus flower is also a national flower in South Korea. The Korean’s scientific name for the flower is ‘mugunghwa’. ‘Mugung’ means eternity and immortality, ‘Hwa’ means flower in Korean. Hence, the Hibiscus flower means an eternal flower in Korea.


7. The divine flower in Hindu 

The Hibiscus flower is the flower of the goddess in the Hindu religion, Kali. This flower is also often used as an offering to the goddess as it represents her tongue. Another Hindu deity, Ganesha, also adores this flower because Hibiscus can emit divine consciousness.

8. A social custom for Japanese

The Hibiscus flower is associated with gentleness in Japan. This flower is primarily used as a gift for visitors and a social custom for the Japanese to do so. They also appreciate yellow-coloured Hibiscus quite a lot.

9. The etymological meaning

The name “Hibiscus” came from the Greek word, ‘hibiskos’, which means marshmallow. The flower was named by a botanist named Pedanius Dioscorides, who is also a doctor for the Roman army back then. Carl Linnaeus first described the name Hibiscus rosa-sinensis in 1753 in his Species Plantarum. The specific epithet rosa-sinensis literally translates as ‘rose of China’, though Hibiscus are not closely related to true roses. The other names of this flower are shoeblackplant, sorrel, rose mallow, and China rose.

10. The ‘shoe flower’

This flower is also called a ‘shoeblackplant’ or ‘shoe flower’ because they were used to polish shoes in Jamaica and some African countries. The juice from the flower petals is also used in China as mascara and shoe blacking.


11. The meaning according to its colours

This flower also has some more meaning according to its colours. Hibiscus has many colour variations, from purple, white, red, pink, and yellow.

  • Purple Hibiscus represents mystery and knowledge. The purple tints also exude a higher class and elegance. Thus purple-tinted Hibiscus are presented to those who hold special meaning in someone’s heart or a unique figure in one’s life.
  • White Hibiscus is the kind that often used widely in flower arrangements and bouquets. It expresses pure and sincere nature, also feminine energy and beauty that will be a perfect gift for someone dear.
  • Pink Hibiscus symbolizes friendship and many forms of love. It can also be gifted to send a simple message for a true friend or special friend as a form of appreciation.
  • Red Hibiscus, as the colour suggests, symbolizes passion, romance, and love. It sends a strong signal of love and cares towards a special person in the life we are romantically involved with.
  • Yellow Hibiscus is the representation of happiness, joy, and optimism. It gives off a happy vibe just by glancing at those blooming bright petals. Give these yellow-tinted flowers to let the recipient smile and feel the optimism!

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