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Useful Temperate Plants

Hibiscus diversifolius

Jacq.

Malvaceae

+ Synonyms

Hibiscus berberidifolius Cufod.

Hibiscus biflorus A.Spreng.

Hibiscus decaisneanus Schimp. ex Hochr.

Hibiscus ficulneus Cav.

Hibiscus macularis E.Mey. ex Harv.

Hibiscus paludosus Merr.

Hibiscus persicifolius Eckl. & Zeyh.

Hibiscus scaber Lam.

Common Name: Swamp Hibiscus

Hibiscus diversifolius
Close-up of flower
Photograph by: Avenue
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Hibiscus diversifolius Hibiscus diversifolius Hibiscus diversifolius

General Information

Hibiscus diversifolius is a spiny, perennial plant, usually forming woody stems, often growing as a shrub and occasionally becoming more tree-like. It usually grows up to 3 metres tall, but can occasionally reach 10 metres in tropical regions[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for its edible leaves, flowers and roots, which are used locally. It is sometimes cultivated as a food crop and is also grown as an ornamental plant in temperate (where it is grown as an annual) to tropical areas[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Known Hazards

Some caution should be observed by pregnant women when eating this plant because there is a report that the leaf juice might be used to procure abortion[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Botanical References

200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
331
Title
Flora of Guatemala
Publication
 
Author
Standley P.C. & J. A. Steyermark
Website
http://www.archive.org/
Publisher
 
Year
1946 - 1976
ISBN
 
Description
A superb reference, though somewhat dated. Gives lots of plant uses as well as information on plant habit and habitat. The entire flora (13 volumes) can now be downloaded from http://www.archive.org/
,
1671
Title
Revision of Hibiscus section Furcaria (Malvaceae) in Africa and Asia
Publication
Bull. Nat. Hist. Mus. Lond. (Bot.) 29( 1 ): 47-79
Author
Wilson F.D.
Publisher
 
Year
1999
ISBN
 
Description
 

Range

Originally from tropical Africa, the plant has been spread by human activity and is now widespread throughout the tropics.

Habitat

Riverine areas and swamps in open vegetation, at elevations up to 1,800 metres[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
]. Mainly by the coast, especially near rainforests, occasionally on disturbed ground in eastern Australia, where it sometimes appears semi-aquatic[
365
Title
Flora of New South Wales
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/floraonline.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line resource giving a brief botanical description of all the native plants of New South Wales, their habitat and range, together with diagrams and photographs of the plants.
].[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitDeciduous Shrub
Height2.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Hibiscus diversifolius is a plant of tropical regions in Africa, but widely spread by human activity through the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. A frost-tender shrub, it can be grown as an annual in temperate climates where it can flower and set seed in its first year of growth[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Plants can also be overwintered in a cold greenhouse if the winter is fairly mild[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. In Tanzania the plant grows in areas where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 1,400 - 2,100mm[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].
Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in full sun[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Thrives in deep clay soils with permanent moisture[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].
As the specific name of this plant suggests, the leaves vary widely in shape. The first leaves to be produced are semi-circular in shape, but later leaves are distinctly three-lobed[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Plants are self-fertile[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Edible Uses

See notes above on toxicity.
Young leaf buds - they are good either raw or cooked[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The young leaves can also be eaten, they are mild and quite mucilaginous, making a pleasant addition to the salad bowl[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Flowers - raw or cooked with other foods[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. They have a very mild flavour and are very mucilaginous[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. They make a very acceptable and beautiful addition to the salad bowl[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Root - it is edible but very fibrous[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
]. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour[
144
Title
Wild Food in Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Cribb. A. B. and J. W.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1976
ISBN
0-00-634436-4
Description
A very good pocket guide.
].

Medicinal

Abortifacient?[
152
Title
Australian Medicinal Plants
Publication
 
Author
Lassak. E. V. and McCarthy. T.
Publisher
New Holland Publishers
Year
2001
ISBN
1876334703
Description
A very good and readable guide to the subject.
]. The native physicians of Fiji use the juice of the leaves to procure abortion[
601
Title
The Useful Native Plants of Australia.
Publication
 
Author
Maiden J.H.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Turner & Co.; London.
Year
1889
ISBN
 
Description
Terse details of the uses of many Australian plants and other species naturalised, or at least growing, in Australia. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The leaves are used as antidoes for venomous bites and stings[
332
Title
The Useful Plants of West Tropical Africa.
Publication
 
Author
Burkil. H. M.
Publisher
Royal Botanic Gardens; Kew.
Year
1985 - 2004
ISBN
 
Description
Brief descriptions and details of the uses of over 4,000 plants. A superb, if terse, resource, it is also available electronically on the Web - see http://www.aluka.org/
].

Other Uses

A fibre obtained from the bark is used to make string and mats[
398
Title
Edible Wild Plants of Tanzania
Publication
 
Author
Ruffo, C.K.: Birnie, A. & Tengnas, B.
Publisher
Regional Land Management Unit; Nairobi.
Year
2002
ISBN
9966-896-60-0
Description
A very well presented, simple guide to growing and utilizing wild food plants in Tanzania, with line drawings of each plant, a description, habitat and range, non-food as well as food uses, plus basic information on growing the plants.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. The seed germinates inside 2 weeks and should be potted up into individual pots as soon as it is large enough to handle. Grow the plants on fast in a fairly rich compost and plant them out in late spring after the last expected frosts[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame. These will be difficult to overwinter unless kept in heated environment[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-09-22. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Hibiscus+diversifolius>

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