hi·​bis·​cus | \ hī-ˈbi-skəs How to pronounce hibiscus (audio) , 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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Did You Know?

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 Wills partnered with Prohibition Kombucha founder Nate Uri to develop this slightly effervescent drink, a blend of hibiscus tea that’s cold-brewed with pineapple and ginger, with echoes of mango, cinnamon and lavender. Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune, "5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities this week," 13 Nov. 2020 If temperatures again are forecast to fall below 40 degrees, move cold-sensitive plants such as bougainvillea, plumeria, mandivillea and oriental hibiscus into shelter. ExpressNews.com, "Calvin Finch: Plant cyclamen now for amazing winter color in your San Antonio garden," 12 Nov. 2020 The book — with essays by Osayi Endolyn and recipe development by Yewande Komolafe — is a rich mix of stories and food, from citrus scallops with hibiscus tea to oxtail pepperpot with dumplings. Mark Kennedy, Star Tribune, "Chef Marcus Samuelsson celebrates the variety of Black food," 2 Nov. 2020 Their Bissap white chocolate, made with a species of African hibiscus called roselle, was filled with the flower’s bright flavors and had a silky and luxurious body. Elaine Lee, Bon Appétit, "If You’ve Never Tried Ghanaian Chocolate, Now’s the Time," 30 Oct. 2020 Colorful cocktails include a hibiscus margarita and a sky-blue Coconut Cloud. NOLA.com, "Best of New Orleans 2020 readers' poll: Food and Drink," 28 Sep. 2020 One natural way to dislodge these pests is with a strong stream of water sprayed onto the pests feeding among the hibiscus shoots. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "How to control aphids on hibiscus plants," 26 Sep. 2020 Their tap list has a good mix of classic flavors and experimental options, including beers with strawberries, hibiscus, chocolate, and peppers. Andrea Romano, Travel + Leisure, "The Best Breweries in San Diego," 26 Sep. 2020 Remove from the heat and add the hibiscus and anchos. Marian Bull, WSJ, "The Best Ribs Are Michelada Ribs," 24 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for hibiscus

Time Traveler

The first known use of hibiscus was in 1706

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Statistics for hibiscus

Last Updated

20 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hibiscus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hibiscus. Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for hibiscus


How to pronounce hibiscus (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of hibiscus

: a type of shrub that has large colorful flowers

More from Merriam-Webster on hibiscus

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hibiscus

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