Meaning of the Hibiscus Flower

The Hibiscus flower has many meanings throughout the world. It is said to originate from the greek word “mallow”. In Victorian times, it meant that the giver was recognizing the receiver's beauty. In China, it is a symbol for the beauty or personal glory given to both men and women and in North America, it is worn by women as a symbol of femininity. Although no one knows where the plant itself appeared, it is said to come from Asia.

Growing up, the hibiscus flower reminded me of my grandma Grace. Every time I visited my grandmas, we would walk the path to her condo from the parking lot. Along the way, we would pass a bush of hibiscus flowers. She would always pick one, or let me do the honors. Then, we would place it on her kitchen counter in a minuscule clear vase. The vase was clearly meant for a single flower. From my childlike perspective, that minuscule clear vase was the home of our hibiscus flowers we picked.

Till this day, my grandma has a special connection with plants, especially flowers. She can turn a dead, bare orchid into a fully bloomed one with the snap of her fingers. I think it has to do with her upbringing and living off the land she once lived on. 

My grandma Grace was born and raised in Hawaii on the island of Molokai. Her parents were immigrants from Japan. She always describes the house she grew up in and how she was always surrounded by fruits, veggies, and hibiscus flowers. When she was just a teenager, she left the island to pursue a college education in the “mainland” as she calls the states, soon she found herself missing constantly seeing the hibiscus flowers. Not long after living in California, she moved to San Diego where she coincidentally found herself running into hibiscus flowers and soon sharing her love and connection to them with me.

Photo taken by me when I visited Molokai in June, 2018
So if you were to ask me, “What do the Hibiscus earrings mean to you?”, they mean picking hibiscus flowers with my grandma and placing it in the minuscule vase I once called the flower’s home. They represent a symbol of beauty and are worn as a token of femininity. The hibiscus earrings are bent and shaped by hand, meaning that none are twins. Each pair is unique in their own ways and I can only hope that you create your own meaning when wearing them.

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