Hibiscus fragilis

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Mandrinette
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malvales
Family: Malvaceae
Genus: Hibiscus
Species: H. fragilis
Binomial name
Hibiscus fragilis
DC.

The Mandrinette (Hibiscus fragilis) is an extremely rare endemic shrub only known from steep slopes of the mountains Corps de Garde and Le Morne Brabant on Mauritius and from two further plants on Rodrigues. The Mandrinette is an evergreen plant with flowers 7-10 cm diameter with five bright pink to carmine red petals.

The Mandrinette looks rather similar to the Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and the introduction of that to Mauritius as a garden plant is one of the main reasons for the dramatic decline of the Mandrinette. Only 46 mature individuals exist in the wild but they are not able to reproduce due to competition from and hybridisation with this invasive Hibiscus species.

They are currently 200 plants in nurseries, and especially the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is trying to reproduce the seedlings with the help of Ex-situ conservation to reintroduce this species into the wild after efforts to remove the invasive hibiscus were successful.

In 1970 Andy Warhol made prints titled "Flowers" of the Mandrinette with petals in different colours based on a photograph by the nature photographer Patricia Caulfield, published in the June 1964 issue of the magazine Modern Photography.

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