One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A plant of the mallow family, grown in warm climates for its large brightly coloured flowers or for products such as fibre or timber.
Genus Hibiscus, family Malvaceae: many species, including the rose mallow
- ‘Between the ruins grew cypresses and oleanders, hibiscus, myrtle and wild roses.’
- ‘There is no reason why hostas can't be grown in containers just as successfully as an exotic hibiscus.’
- ‘My hibiscus looks healthy, but the buds drop before they open.’
- ‘Calla lilies, iris, geraniums and hibiscus bloomed here as well as a variety of other plants.’
- ‘The hedge of bougainvillea and hibiscus that I'd planted for my mother was now so high and thick that I could not see the house behind it.’
Latin, from Greek hibiskos, which Dioscorides identified with the marsh mallow.
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