From Nuffnang

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Flower of the "Gumamela" (Hibiscus) Plant

Gumamela, scientifically known as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, is a shrub widely grown as an ornamental plant. Being native to East Asia, this plant is propagated throughout the Philippines. The leaves are green and glossy. Red is the color of the most common variety of the gumamela plant. This plant reminds many Filipinos of their childhood; they might have used the petals and leaves in making bubbles.

gumamela, shoe flower, flowers, hibiscus, bubbles

The procedure involves crushing the petals and leaves using mortar and pestle. If unavailable, a stone and a hard flat surface will do for the crushing process. The resulting paste is then mixed with soapy water. To make the bubbles, dip an end of a plastic straw or a papaya stalk into the mixture. Blow into the other end and enjoy the bubbles.

I have just learned that the flower has other applications. According to Wikipedia, the flowers of are eaten as salad in the Pacific Islands. Aside from being used as a hair care preparation, the flower is used to shine shoes. That might be the reason that the gumamela is also known as shoe flower.

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