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Useful Tropical 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

Swamp hibiscus is a perennial plant, usually forming woody stems, often growing as a shrub and occasionally more as a tree. It usually grows up to 3 metres tall, but can occasionally reach 10 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.
].
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 when using this plant because there is a report that it might be used to procure abortions. We have no further details.

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.

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 Australia in New South Wales and Queensland[
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
Height5.00 m
PollinatorsInsects
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

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

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.
].

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 in situ or in containers. Germination is usually quite rapid. Prick out container-grown seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions when they are 10cm or more tall.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood in a frame.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-17. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Hibiscus+diversifolius>

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