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Hibiscus Flower Meaning: Hibiscus Symbolism 101

Understanding the meaning of the hibiscus flower can help us appreciate them more. The flowering genus is home to over 200 different species. They are tropical and are members of the Malvaceae family. 

Hibiscus Flower Meaning

The flowering plant has no clear origins. But they can be found growing in most parts of the world. They are quite popular and are known to be hardy. It comes in a variety of colors and each color has a unique meaning. 

How Did Hibiscus Get Its Name?  

The name “hibiscus” is said to originate from the Greek word “Hibiskos”. It is named after the mallow family. Some believe an ancient botanist, Pedanius Dioscorides was the originator of the name.  

Hibiscus are edible, so they are safe for consumption. Asides from that they are also a rich source of vitamin C in the body. 

What Does Hibiscus Symbolize? 

The symbolism of hibiscus can vary with the hibiscus color. According to Greek mythology. The flower was used as a symbol of love between Adonis and Aphrodite. Some even believe that Adonis turned into a hibiscus when quarreling with Aphrodite. 

But in general, the hibiscus flower can mean any of the following;

Refined or Delicate Beauty

According to the Hibiscus flower language, the flower was used to symbolize beauty. It was often given to people you found beautiful or stunning. This is why it was made popular in the Victorian era. 


In Hawaiian culture, the hibiscus flower is seen as a feminine flower. It represents femininity and beauty amidst women. It can also be used to signify a married woman when worn on the left ear. And if in the right, it shows she’s searching for a husband. 

Short-lived Fame Or Glory

Another cool meaning of a hibiscus flower is found in Chinese culture. It is often given as a gift to represent the short-lived beauty of glory or fame.  This is due to the fact that the hibiscus flower has a very short vase life. 

Understanding Each Hibiscus Color Meaning

Asides from the general meaning. Each specific color of the hibiscus has a specific meaning. Knowing each color symbol of the hibiscus flower can help when giving hibiscus gifts. Here are some of its meanings based on color;

Red Hibiscus Meaning

The red hibiscus is a strong and popular color variety of plants. It is said to represent both love and passion. And it can be given to a romantic interest to show them you love them. 

It also has small ties to Hinduism as it represents the Hindu goddess, Kali.  She is said to represent life, time, death, and change.  Hinduists use the red hibiscus as an offering to Kali. 

Pink Hibiscus Flower Meaning  

Pink Hibiscus Flower Meaning  

Pink hibiscus flowers are also very common to find. They also represent love and care but in a less romantic way.   You can send over pink hibiscus to a sibling or a close friend who is only a friend.  

Yellow Hibiscus Meaning

Yellow hibiscus are always bright and positive. They are the symbol of positivity, joy, and cheer. They can also mean good luck and wealth. They can be kept as a personal “good luck” gift. Or given to someone who needs some positivity in their life. 

Purple Hibiscus Flower Meaning

This is a luxurious flower that is often regarded as a royalty flower. It represents wealth as well as mystery, wisdom, and knowledge. It can be given as a gift to people you find knowledgeable and inspiring.

And in some cases, it can be a terrifying gift, such as the fear of the unknown. This is due to the mystery and drama it inspires in people. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What does hibiscus smell like?

Most hibiscus flowering plants are not known to have any fragrance. As such it is safe to say they have no aroma and smell like air. 

Do hibiscus flowers close at night?

Yes, the hibiscus flower plant is known to bloom in the morning and close at night.  

Is there a black hibiscus flower?

No, the closest is the deep purple or burgundy color hibiscus flower.

What does a real blue hibiscus flower mean?

The blue hibiscus flower is known to represent glory and fertility.  

Can hibiscus regrow hair?

Yes, in china, hibiscus flowers are sometimes used as a hair regrowth remedy.