It is well known that some of the varieties of hibiscus with red flowers may be used in producing a dye of more or less temporary nature. This has given rise to the name of shoe-black plant in the Orient, where these flowers are used in blacking shoes.
The text is from a book called Ornamental Hibiscus in Hawaii, by E.V. Wilcox and V.S. Holt, published in 1913. Browse the book online or download it free from the Internet Archive.
artwork by Joanne Stanbridge 2012