Hibiscus. Hibiscus Abelmoschus L. (Abelmoschus moschatus Mouch.) (Fam. Malvaceae.)—An evergreen shrub, growing in Egypt, and in the East and West Indies, and yielding the seeds known under the names of Semen Abelmoschi, grana moschata. Musk seed, Abelmosch, Semence on Graine d'Ambrette, Ambrettekörner, Bisornkörner, and Ambrakörner. These are of about the same size as flaxseed, kidney-shaped, striated, of a grayish-brown color, of an odor like that of musk, and of a warm somewhat spicy taste. They were formerly considered stimulant and antispasmodic, but are now used only in perfumery. The Arabs flavor their coffee with them. They are said to be employed in the adulteration of musk. Another species. Hibiscus esculentus L., or Abelmoschus esculentus Moench., is cultivated under the name of okra, bendee, or gombo in various parts of the world, for the sake of its fruit, which abounds in mucilage (gombine), and is used for thickening soup. The leaves are sometimes employed for preparing emollient poultices. The roots, which are a foot or two long, are said also to abound in mucilage free from any unpleasant odor. Their powder is perfectly white, and superior to the marshmallow. The plant is largely cultivated near Constantinople, where it is much used as a demulcent. (A. J. P., 1860, 224; P. J., 1904, 892.) The bark is also used in making paper and cordage.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.