Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik

Last updated: 13 March 2015

Scientific Name

Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik.


Abelmoschus caillei (A.Chev.) Stevels, Abelmoschus platidactylus (Bakh.) Nakai, Abelmoschus pseudomanihot (DC.) Endl., Hibiscus japonicus Miq., Hibiscus manihot L [1].

Vernacular Name

English Aibika (Pidgin); sunset hibiscus, manioc-hibiscus [2] [3]
Indonesia Gedi (Minahasa); degi (Ternate) [2]
Philippines Lagikuway (Tagalog); barakue (Batanes); glikway (Subanon) [2]
Thailand Po-fai (Northern) [2]
Germany Maniok-bisameibisch [3]
Sweden Solokra [3]
Fiji Bele, mbele [3]
Sweden Solokra [3]
Papua New Guinea Aibika [2] [3]

Geographical Distributions

Abelmoschus manihot is a cultigen with a wide distribution. It grows over a wide range of climates but in the tropics it mainly occurs from the lowlands to 1200 m altitude. However, at high elevations, growth is slower. This plant is a popular traditional vegetable in Melanesia, but has also been introduced into other continents, either as a vegetable or as an ornamental (sunset 'hibiscus'). In Southeast Asia it is cultivated particularly in the eastern parts of Indonesia and in Papua New Guinea. [2]

Botanical Description

A. manihot is agenus from Malvaceae family. It is a perennial shrub that can grow 1-3(-7) m tall. [2]

The stem is an erect, woody, branching and hairless or pubescent (without prickly hairs unlike related wild forms). [2]

The leaves are simple, arranged alternate, extremely variable in shape, size, colour and pigmentation (or marking). The leaf-blade is linear, lance-shaped, cordate or deeply lobed or parted with 3-7 segments and with varied colours from light to dark green through red to purple. Petiole is 3-25 cm long and with slender or lance-shaped stipules. [2]

The flowers are large, bell-shaped, measure 7-15 cm in diametre, axillary, solitary or in racemes by the reduction or abortion of the upper leaves. The pedicel is 1-5(-7) cm long. The epicalyx segments are 4-6(-8), free, ovate to oblong in shape and with a size measuring 1-3 cm x 0.5-1 cm. The sepal is spathaceous, measuring 2-3 cm long, splits on one side during the expansion of the petal, adnate to and falls with the petal. The corolla consists of 5 large and obovate to orbicular petals. They measure 3-8 cm in diametre, pale yellow with the central spot dark brown or reddish in colour. The ovary is superior and 5-celled. The style is surrounded by the staminal column from which it emerges and divides into 5 lobes where each lobe ends in a flattened, disk-shaped and dark brown stigma. The staminal column measure up to 3 cm long, white, bear numerous filaments and anthers. [2]

The fruit is an oblong-ovoid capsule, measuring 3.5-6 cm x 2-2.5 cm, hairy, usually 5-angled and splits into 5 segments. [2]

The seeds are numerous, spherical to kidney-shaped, 2-4 mm in diametre and black in colour. [2]

The root system is usually adventitious and fairly shallow with most of the roots in the top 30-40 cm of the soil. [2]


A. manihot requires well-distributed rainfall of at least 1200 mm/year for good production. A. manihot is sensitive to waterlogging and prefers well-drained loams with a pH of 5.5-7, but grows on a wide range of soils. Little is known about the eco-physiology of A. manihot, but there are indications that it behaves as a qualitative short-day plant. In Port Moresby (9°S), A. manihot flowers between July and November. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation


No documentation

Line drawing

Abelmoschus manihot

Figure 1: The line drawing of A. manihot. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik. 2013 ver1.1 [updated 2013, cited 2014 July 8] Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2609589
  2. Siemonsma JS, Piluek K. Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 8: Vegetables. The Netherlands, Pudoc Scientific Publishers; 1993. p. 60–62.
  3. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Taxon: Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik. [updated 2014 June 30; cited 2017 July 1]. Available from: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/taxon.pl?621