Abelmoschus caillei (A.Chev.) Stevels
Abelmoschus ficulneoides (Lindl.) Walp.
Abelmoschus luzonensis Merr.
Abelmoschus mindanaensis Warb.
Abelmoschus multilobatus Merr.
Abelmoschus platidactylus (Bakh.) Nakai
Abelmoschus pseudomanihot (DC.) Endl.
Abelmoschus pungens (Roxb.) Wall. ex Voigt
Abelmoschus tetraphyllus (Roxb. ex Hornem.) Wall.
Abelmoschus vriesianus (Hassk.) Hassk.
Hibiscus japonicas Miq.
Hibiscus manihot L.
Hibiscus papyriferus Salisb.
Hibiscus pungens Roxb.
Hibiscus vriesianus Hassk.
Common Name: Aibika
Aibika is a shrub growing up to 5 metres tall, though when growing at the limits of its range it can become annual in habit.
The plant is often cultivated in the Tropics, especially in Asia and the Pacific Islands, both as an ornamental and for its edible leaves and other uses[
E. Asia - China, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines to New Guinea and Northern Australia.
Wasteland and humid rocky hillsides[
]. In Nepal it grows at elevations of 700 - 1,700 metres in rocky places with shrubs[
]. Grasslands, near streams and margins of farm land[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Plants grow well in lowland tropical areas, with yields beginning to drop when they are grown at elevations above 500 metres. Theys may develop an annual habit of growth at higher elevations and in cooler climates[
]. They are generally tender in the temperate zone but can be grown outdoors as an annual, flowering well in their first year and setting seed[
]. They will occasionally overwinter in a cold greenhouse in the temperate zone[
]. Plants have a high moisture requirement and grow best in areas with an evenly distributed annual precipitation of 1,000mm or more[
]. They prefer a relatively high humidity and a stable temperature above 25°c, though they can tolerate occasional short-lived lows down to about -5°c so long as they are in a very well-drained soil[
Easily grown in any well-drained soil in a sunny position[
]. Plants are most productive when grown in well-prepared fertile soils that are rich in organic matter[
When well looked after, the plant can be highly productive - yields of 40 - 60 tonnes per hectare have been achieved in the tropics[
A very variable plant[
Plants do not flower well when day length is less than 12 hours[
Plants are somewhat susceptible to root nematodes[
It grows well in an ornamental vegetable garden[
Young leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Sweet and mucilaginous[
]. Young leaves can be used as a lettuce substitute[
]. Young shoots are harvested when about 15cm long[
Flower buds - raw or cooked[
The bark is said to be emmenagogue[
]. A paste of the bark is used to treat wounds and cuts, with new paste being applied every 2 - 3 days for about 3 weeks[
In Nepal the root juice is warmed and applied to sprains[
The juice of the flowers is used to treat chronic bronchitis and toothache[
The root of this plant is used by the Japanese as a size for their handmade papers, which are prepared from the inner bark of Edgeworthia gardneri and several varieties of the paper mulberry (Broussonetya papyrifera). The root is macerated in water and added to the paper pulp. The mucilage is obtained from the roots of this plant as follows:- Wash off the dirt, soak in fresh water for some hours, and crush them to pieces. The substance thus prepared should then be put in a linen bag and soaked again in water. When the material gets thoroughly soft, the juice comes out of the bag by manipulating in the vat in which pulp has been previously mixed to receive the paste. The bag should be squeezed now and then, as the mucilage does not come out by itself. The paper maker can judge whether sufficient mucilage is in the water or not by its glutinous consistency. This is the best mucilaginous plant extensively used in Japan[
Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. The seed should germinate with two weeks, when it is large enough to handle prick it out into individual pots and plant out after the last expected frosts.
The seed can also be sown in situ in late mid spring in areas with warm summers and a growing season of at least 6 months.