hibiscus flower meaning

Hibiscus Flower Meaning and Symbolism

Sharing is caring!

Pay a visit to the island of Hawaii, and you’ll see these gorgeous flowers everywhere. They are growing in the forest, along pathways, and can even be found adorning women’s hair. Hibiscus flowers are the epitome of tropical beauty and are best grown in hot, humid climates. 

Found growing in places like Haiti, Malaysia, India, and of course, Hawaii, hibiscus flowers come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. All, however, have five petals around a tall, stalked center – and all are surrounded with deep symbolic meaning.

What Does Hibiscus Mean?

The word “hibiscus” translates almost perfectly to the Greek word “hibiscus,” which means mallow. Since the hibiscus plant is in the mallow family, this makes a lot of sense. The plant’s scientific name is Hibiscus rosa-sinensis but can be referred to as simply hibiscus. 

It is also frequently called tropical hibiscus, Hawaiian hibiscus, rose mallow, shoeblackplant, China rose, and Chinese hibiscus, too.

These flowers first received their name from the botanist and Roman army doctor Pedanius Dioscorides. 

What Does a Hibiscus Symbolize?

Hibiscus flowers are considered very feminine. Therefore, they are usually given to women. In North America, hibiscus flowers are used to symbolize the perfect woman or wife. Otherwise, the meaning of the flower varies depending on its color and the culture in which it is given.

What Does a White Hibiscus Mean?

White is a common hibiscus color, and, as with many white flowers, a white hibiscus is most commonly seen to symbolize beauty, purity, and femininity. 

What Does a Yellow Hibiscus Symbolize?

Yellow hibiscus flowers are most commonly associated with good luck and good fortune, but can also symbolize sunshine and happiness.

What Does a Pink Hibiscus Symbolize?

pink hibiscus flower

Pink hibiscus flowers are commonly given to little girls. They can be used to symbolize friendship and many kinds of love (including romantic love, but also other kinds of love, like platonic or familial love).

What Does a Red Hibiscus Mean?

Red hibiscus flowers symbolize passion and deep romantic love.

What Does a Purple Hibiscus Symbolize?

Purple hibiscus flowers are usually associated with royalty or the upper class, as many purple flowers are. They can also be used to symbolize knowledge and mystery.

What is the Cultural Significance of a Hibiscus?

The national flower of Haiti, hibiscus flowers are also highly revered in Hawaii. They are the official state flower of Hawaii despite the fact that they are not native to Hawaii. Both yellow and red hibiscus flowers have been used as the state flower here. 

These delicate, beautiful flowers are often viewed as a symbol of young women and their beauty. In Victorian times, giving someone a hibiscus flower usually meant that the giver was acknowledging the delicate beauty of the recipient. However, in China, hibiscuses symbolize the fleeting nature of fame and personal glory. Here, the flowers are given to men and women alike.

Hibiscus flowers have long been prized for their medicinal and culinary applications. They can add color and flavor to a variety of herbal teas and also contain a high level of vitamin C. 

What is the Symbolism of a Hibiscus Tattoo?

Often, people get a hibiscus tattoo to symbolize their respect for the state of Hawaii. However, the flower can also symbolize things like friendship, passion, love, and desire, so it’s not out of the question for someone to choose a hibiscus tattoo for one of these reasons, either. 

When Should You Give Someone a Hibiscus?

Hibiscus flowers, depending on their colors, are appropriate for just about any occasion. They have short lives, but are commonly given to symbolize fame, youth, and beauty. They are perfect flowers to help you enjoy beautiful moments that may be only fleeting – but nevertheless add a touch of tropical elegance to any occasion. 

*Photo by chack1983/depositphotos

Scroll to Top