Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Hibiscus surattensis

Bush Sorrel

Isigezo , Ucathucathu , Uvemvane (z)

French: Liane oseille

Hibiscus surattensis is generally widespread throughout the Old World tropics being and in South Africa where it occurs in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga.

Hibiscus surattensis is an annual herbaceous, trailing or scrambling plant of moist waste places, covered with soft hairs and scattered prickles.

Landscape value
This most delightful plant due to the profusion of bright yellow flowers that it produces in profusion in autumn has great potential to be grown in less formal indigenous landscapes that are designed with high plant diversity to attract the maximum of wildlife. I makes a nice bright addition to any landscape or garden where it has been used.

The plant is rich in mucilage. It is often cultivated for the mucilaginous leaves which are eaten in soup or as a vegetable
Plant yields a fiber of good quality.

Traditional Medicinal uses: 
In Senegal the plant is used as an emollient. Zulus use a lotion of the leaf and stem for the treatment of penile irritation of any sort, including venereal sores and urethritis. It is sometimes applied as an ointment for the same purposes. An infusion is also used as an injection into the urethra and vagina for gonorrhoea and other inflammations.

Hibiscus surattensis occurs in grassland and at forest edges in lowland and at medium altitudes up to 1700 m, in regions with an average annual rainfall of 1000–1600 mm. It also occurs in marshes, abandoned fields and plantations, on waste ground near habitation, and in coastal habitats such as sand dunes. It is found on a wide variety of soil types.

Ecological significance
Visited by bees and small flies browsed by game

Michael Hickman
Landscape Design Specialist


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