hi·​bis·​cus | \hī-ˈbi-skəs, hə-\

Definition of hibiscus 

: any of a large genus (Hibiscus) of herbs, shrubs, or small trees of the mallow family with large showy flowers and usually dentate leaves

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There are about 250 species of shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants in the genus Hibiscus, which belongs to the mallow family. They are native to warm temperate and tropical regions. Several are cultivated as ornamentals for their showy flowers. The tropical Chinese or Hawaiian hibiscus, which is also called China rose, has large, somewhat bell-shaped reddish blossoms. The East African hibiscus, a drooping shrub, is often grown in hanging baskets indoors.

Examples of hibiscus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

More than 150 different varieties of exotic hibiscus plants will be featured at the sale. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Hibiscus Society organizes show, sale," 26 May 2018 At Odd Duck’s bar, Kelley soon will be launching a drink made with hibiscus. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Hibiscus is the flower that's good enough to drink (and eat)," 24 Apr. 2018 Perfumania also has the DL on the fragrance notes: top notes of red berries, plum, and peach; mid notes of hibiscus flower, violet, tuberose, and coconut water; and base notes of vanilla, patchouli, amber, and musk. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Rihanna Just Dropped Reb'l Fleur Love Always, a Remix of Her Very First Fragrance," 29 Aug. 2018 One is the Herbaceous Longshoreman ($14), with spirits that include navy-strength gin and green chartreuse, plus citrus and egg whites with hibiscus-blueberry tea garnish. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Reopening after break, Meraki marks new menu with a half-price night," 12 July 2018 Order the Fire Within ($16): Omeca Altos Tequila, basil, chili syrup and hibiscus. Jeanne Cooper, SFChronicle.com, "Where to watch the sunset with a cocktail around Half Moon Bay," 11 July 2018 There are the same leggy poinsettia and the same trees of pink and yellow hibiscus. Alice Bolin, Los Angeles Magazine, "What People Should Read About L.A. Before They Move to L.A.," 26 June 2018 Common flavors in South America include hibiscus, tamarind, soursop, pineapple and papaya. Anna Thomas Bates, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Blueberry Honeydew Agua Fresca is a refreshing, light drink without too much sugar," 11 July 2018 It's made with an Angry Orchard rosé cider base which then gets infused with pineapple juice and hibiscus. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "This Summer's Biggest Boozy Trend Just Got Its Own Ice Cream Flavor," 10 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hibiscus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hibiscus

1706, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hibiscus

New Latin, from Latin, marshmallow

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Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for hibiscus

The first known use of hibiscus was in 1706

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English Language Learners Definition of hibiscus

: a type of shrub that has large colorful flowers

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with hibiscus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hibiscus

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