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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

The Hibiscus Flower - Icon of the Tropics.

Updated: Jun 5, 2023


When you think of the tropics, what comes to mind? Palm trees, flowers, monkeys, warm water, and flowers to name some of the reps of the tropics but then there's bananas, lots of bananas ohhh and mangoes. I remember when I was learning about organically made clothing and natural dyes, I thought to myself how could a pink sweater possibly be made of natural dyes?

Then, I went to Costa Rica and I got it. Colors everywhere from the towering jungle canopy to the depths of the spongy ground cover and all the beautiful birds and bugs that live in her moist embrace. The diversity of flowering plants blew my mind but the one flower that was everywhere all the time was hibiscus.

And now living in Panama, this flower seems to pop a new color for me still on occasion because there are hundreds of different colors of hibiscus.


Flowering all year here in Panama, we are fortunate to get to see many different shades of this tropical icon from white to multi color, and so many vibrant shades and even different shapes in-between.


On our property, we started using this flower for a natural border rather than a fence and get this, all I had to do was shove a part of the branch in in the ground and it grew! I didn't have to do anything special and now we have this beautiful hedge, that flowers all year.


We then started to integrate more varieties and colors that our friends gifted to us for the sheer enjoyment and beauty but also to attract pollinators like beautiful butterflies, bats and hummingbirds. Now, we have several colors all over to enjoy.

We weave the stems together to form fun shapes in our gardens, use them to offer food to our winged friends, busy bees, ants, and iguanas. We harvest it for our restaurant too to make hibiscus tea and cocktails for our guests that is full of anti oxidants, and it's a natural healer in many other ways so we feel if we mix it with alcohol it becomes a health drink!


Cheers! We hope to welcome you soon with the Playita - our signature cocktail. Until then, we hope to hear from you and how life is in your corner of this beautiful planet.

Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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