Hibiscus congestiflorus (PROTA)
|Geographic coverage Africa|
|Geographic coverage World|
Hibiscus congestiflorus Hochr.
- Protologue: Annuaire Conserv. Jard. Bot. Genève 10: 21 (1906).
- Family: Malvaceae
Origin and geographic distribution
Hibiscus congestiflorus is distributed from Côte d’Ivoire eastward to the Central African Republic.
In Nigeria fibre is extracted from the stem bark. In Côte d’Ivoire the leaves are sometimes used as a vegetable and prepared in sauce, but this use is restricted to periods of shortage of other vegetables.
The nutritional composition of edible leaves from Côte d’Ivoire was per 100 g: water 76.8 g, energy 170 kJ (41 kcal), protein 6.4 g, fat 0.9 g, carbohydrate 1.6 g, dietary fibre 11.4 g, riboflavin 0.23 mg and ascorbic acid 33.8 mg. The mucilage content of the leaves is 5.7%.
Annual erect herb up to 3 m tall, often unbranched; stem pilose. Leaves alternate, simple; blade linear-lanceolate, up to 18 cm × 4 cm, often hastate at the base, margin serrulate, lower surface slightly pubescent. Flowers crowded at the apex of the shoots, regular, bisexual, 5-merous, 4–6.5 cm long; pedicel very short; epicalyx bracts linear, about as long as the calyx, ciliate; petals yellow with purple centre; stamens numerous, united for most of their length into a staminal column; ovary superior. Fruit a dry capsule, splitting along the midribs. Seeds kidney-shaped.
In West Africa flowering and fruiting of Hibiscus congestiflorus usually occur in October–February.
Hibiscus comprises c. 200 species distributed mainly in the tropics and subtropics; many of them are grown as ornamentals. The bark fibre of several other West African Hibiscus species is used. Hibiscus comoensis A.Chev. ex Hutch. & Dalz. is a poorly known ruderal shrub or small tree, restricted to Guinea, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana. In Côte d’Ivoire its bark is used for tying in hut construction. Hibiscus owariensis P.Beauv. is a shrubby species up to 3 m tall distributed from Côte d’Ivoire to Nigeria, with odd records from Rwanda and Sudan. Its bark fibre is of poor quality but is used in Ghana. Hibiscus scotellii Baker f. is an erect fibrous herb up to 2 m tall, distributed in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana. In Sierra Leone its bark fibre is used for making rope. Hibiscus squamosus Hochr. is an annual herb c. 1 m tall, distributed from Senegal eastward to Chad and the Central African Republic. It yields a bark fibre of good quality that is used in Ghana. In Togo leaves collected from the wild are eaten cooked as a vegetable. Hibiscus sterculiifolius (Guill. & Perr.) Steud. (synonym: Hibiscus quinquelobus G.Don) is a shrub or small tree up to 2.5 m tall, distributed from Senegal to Nigeria, but far from common. Its fibre is locally used for making cordage, thread, sacks and fishing lines and nets. In Côte d’Ivoire its bark is used for tying in hut construction and basketry. Early in the 20th century wild stands have been exploited in Guinea and small quantities of fibre have been exported. Trees can be lopped and the resulting suckers produce the best quality fibre. The wood is fairly hard and can be used to make furniture.
Hibiscus congestiflorus usually occurs in savanna, grassland, gallery forest and fallows, up to 800 m altitude.
In Côte d’Ivoire Hibiscus congestiflorus is spared during land clearing.
Little is known about the conservation status of the species.
The limited amount of available information on Hibiscus congestiflorus limits assessment of its prospects. Further ethnobotanical investigations particularly on the use as vegetable in the distribution area might be worthwhile. Several other West African Hibiscus species have potential as fibre producers.
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- E.G. Achigan Dako, PROTA Network Office Africa, World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), P.O. Box 30677-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Correct citation of this article
Achigan-Dako, E.G., 2011. Hibiscus congestiflorus Hochr. [Internet] Record from PROTA4U. Brink, M. & Achigan-Dako, E.G. (Editors). PROTA (Plant Resources of Tropical Africa / Ressources végétales de l’Afrique tropicale), Wageningen, Netherlands. <http://www.prota4u.org/search.asp>.
Accessed 7 March 2020.
- See the Prota4U database.