Hibiscus panduriformis (PROTA)
|Geographic coverage Africa|
|Geographic coverage World|
Hibiscus panduriformis Burm.f.
- Protologue: Fl. Ind. 151, t. 47 f. 2 (1768).
- Family: Malvaceae
- Chromosome number: 2n = 24
Origin and geographic distribution
Hibiscus panduriformis is widespread in mainland tropical Africa and Madagascar. It also occurs in Asia and Australia.
In DR Congo and Tanzania the bast fibre is used for cordage. In Kenya it is used for weaving bags. The flowers are eaten in DR Congo. Hibiscus panduriformis is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
The bast fibre of Hibiscus panduriformis is creamy white, soft and fairly lustrous, it is not very durable and is considered of poor quality. The fibre cells are 0.8–2.7 mm long and 14–29 μm in diameter, with an average cell wall thickness of 5.7 μm.
The seeds contain per 100 g dry matter: oil 15.4 g, protein 22.2 g, crude fibre 27.3 g. Fatty acids in the seed oil are: palmitic acid 12.3%, stearic acid 3.2%, oleic acid 10.2% and linoleic acid 74.3%. The oil is pale yellow.
Erect perennial herb or shrub up to 4 m tall, branched at the top; stem tomentose and with long simple or branched irritating hairs up to 5 mm long, becoming glabrous. Leaves alternate, simple; stipules often 2–3 side by side, filiform, 5–12 mm long; petiole 2–18 cm long, densely hairy; blade linear to ovate or orbicular in outline, 4–18 cm × 3–14 cm, unlobed to shallowly 3–7-lobed, base cordate to truncate, apex obtuse to acute, margin toothed, both sides hairy, conspicuously 5–7-veined. Flowers 1–4 in leaf axils, regular, bisexual, 5-merous, 3.5–10 cm in diameter; pedicel 3–30 mm long, articulated near the middle, densely hairy; epicalyx bracts 8–12, linear-spathulate, 5–17 mm × 1–2 mm, pubescent; calyx 10–20 mm long, lobes linear to triangular, 11–13 mm × 2–6 mm, densely puberulous to tomentellous, conspicuously 3-veined or 3-ribbed; petals 15–50 mm long, pale yellow to yellow with maroon centre, densely hairy outside; stamens numerous, united for most of their length into a staminal column 8–20 mm long, free parts of filaments 0.5–3 mm long; ovary superior, style 10–15 mm longer than staminal column, with branches 30–50 mm long. Fruit an ovoid to subglobose capsule 10–18 mm × 8–15 mm, on a stalk c. 55 mm long, acuminate, densely hairy, coriaceous at maturity. Seeds wedge-shaped, c. 3 mm × 2 mm, brown, striped, hairy.
In West Africa flowering and fruiting usually take place in June–December; in Zimbabwe and Mozambique flowering is in March–May.
Hibiscus comprises c. 200 species, distributed mainly in the tropics and subtropics, and many of them are grown as ornamentals. Hibiscus debeerstii De Wild. & T.Durand and Hibiscus shirensis Sprague & Hutch. are perennial herbs or shrubs very similar in morphology, ecology and distribution. They differ from one another in the relative size of the epicalyx that in the former species is larger than the calyx and in the latter smaller. Both species are distributed in DR Congo, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Mozambique. Hibiscus shirensis is also native to Rwanda, Burundi and Zimbabwe. The bast fibres of both species are used for making ropes. In Mozambique the shrubs are browsed by livestock.
In a transverse section of Hibiscus panduriformis stems harvested at the first pod stage in India the bast fibres occurred in wedges. The number of fibre bundles per wedge was c. 22, with c. 19 cells per bundle. The fibre bundles were irregularly shaped.
Hibiscus panduriformis occurs from sea-level up to 2000 m altitude in woodland and grassland, alluvial clay flats, riverbanks, roadsides, cultivated land and fallows.
The 1000-seed weight is 5.3–5.7 g. The fibre yield per plant is low. The presence of the plant near cultivated cotton can be troublesome as both plants are attacked by bollworms (Earias spp.).
In view of its wide distribution in tropical Africa and elsewhere, Hibiscus panduriformis is not threatened with genetic erosion.
Hibiscus panduriformis will probably remain of local importance for fibre purposes. Further ethnobotanical study might be worthwhile given the wide distribution of the species in tropical Africa and the scarce information on its use.
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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 panduriformis Burm.f. [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.