It grows almost throughout the country and seems it was born to decorate the hair of young maidens who were so vain when went out to their homes shelters, to wait for the noble knight they would choose as husband. Even today, the typical Dominican dance presentations are not complete without cayenne adornment.
This plant is also known as hibiscus flower and the simplicity of its beauty has inspired as love stories as poems and songs: "I want to be a fish, to embroider your waist with cayenne and make silhouettes of love under the moon ..." says the first bachata popularized by Juan Luis Guerra around 1990.
Although many people believe it is the national flower of the Dominican Republic, (actually it is the rose of Bayahibe) the cayenne or blood of Christ - called like this when it is red- is not endemic to the island. It comes from the Pacific, specifically tropical Asia, and since its introduction in Europe in the 18th century, many hybrids have been obtained from it. The cayenne has diversity of colors, sizes and shapes, but they are all the same flower. Among its colors red, white, pink, yellow can be found but some of them have two tonalities.
But beyond its beauty, cayenne is highly considered for its medicinal properties. Many laboratories have been able to synthesize its components and use the flower for relieving muscle spasms, in pills of 100 or 200 milligrams; making shampoo that fights hair loss; even it is utilized as soporific and in this case a higher dosage is required, capsules up to thousand 500 milligrams. This effect is also obtained with a homemade tea by boiling a cup of water, adding two flowers and letting it stand for five minutes.
The advantage of hibiscus is its resistance. It blooms all year, hardly harms for predators and disease and does not require special care. In addition, it sprouts and grows fast, because in natural conditions it turns into a bright and colorful plant just in a month. Due to its picturesque appearance is the perfect flower to adorn gardens and other outdoor areas; if not pruned, its growth is used as a living fence to demarcate land and crops where it is well suited because it is considered middle tone, that is, it needs equal doses of sun and shade. Many advantages, for a flower that is much more than an ornament or Dominican symbol.
Tags: Fauna and Flora