19 July 2022
On Isola Madre the tropical and delicate beauty of the flower from Hawaii
There are around a hundred varieties of hibiscus to admire in the fabulous setting of the Isole Borromee, particularly on the more exotic Isola Madre. Summer is the season of the delicate tropical flower that brightens up the gardens until the end of September with its five petals shaped like a funnel, from pink to red to yellow. It is easy to recognise them, also on account of the pistil, generally very pronounced and longer than the corolla.
Originally from tropical Asia, the Hibiscus rosa sinenses – this is the name of the plant belonging to the Malvaceae family – is the national flower of the Hawaiian Islands. In the collective imagination, its function is very widespread as an ornament and “accessory” in the hairstyles of the girls of Tahiti. These subjects were depicted in art by Paul Gauguin in his paintings, one of the most famous being the oil on canvas from 1891 “Tahitian Women on the Beach”.
The hibiscus flower only lasts for one day, but its brief life is compensated for by its inimitable beauty. It is said that precisely on account of its extremely delicate nature, in the language of flowers it represents the fleeting beauty of youth.
Isola Madre, with its milder temperatures, is the perfect natural habitat for the hibiscus.
We also find some examples on the terraces of Isola Bella that slope down towards Lago Maggiore. In this timeless location, in addition to hibiscuses, oleanders and citrus trees also make a fine display of themselves in a competition over which are the most luxuriant flowers.
On the Isole Borromee, a collection of red Hibiscus rosa sinenses flowers are also cultivated in flowerbeds.