The Best Hibiscus Tattoos ( Design and Meanings )

Perhaps one of the most iconic flower tattoos is the hibiscus flower. Their beauty, elegance, and colorfulness are world renowned. There is nowhere that you cant use these tattoos on the body, and in no design that they will look out of place. 

Here at Tattooli, we have collected some of the best designs that you can use the beauty of the hibiscus flower for stunning results. Although you will see a lot of people telling you that these flowers origins come from the Pacific, the actual source of the Hibiscus is unknown. However, it has grown in China, Japan, and the Pacific islands for many years, and there are two native species found in North America, and they are both white.

Hibiscus Tattoos
Hibiscus Tattoos

Perhaps this is the reason that they are so well liked. There is an air of mystery about something that has unknown origins, and this can spark a significant interest.

Hibiscus Flower Tattoo Meaning

The Hibiscus’ meaning is dependant upon the location of where you ask the question. If you are looking for North American definitions, it means a perfect woman or wife. In the Victorian age, it was given to women to show them that the man is acknowledging their beauty. The Chinese would use the hibiscus to symbolize fame, riches, glory, and splendor.

Hibiscus Flower meaning


Here are a few facts about the hibiscus flower:

  • The hibiscus flower is the unofficial national flower of Haiti
  • The red Hibiscus was Hawaii’s official and native state flower until 1988 when it changed to a yellow species of hibiscus, despite the fact the yellow flower is not native to Hawaii.

While we are on the subject of meanings, we will have a look at what each of the flower colors means:

  • White – As you can imagine, white is an excellent symbolization of purity and beauty. Especially when it comes to femininity.
  • Yellow – Yellow is associated with sunshine and happiness. The yellow hibiscus flower is no different. However, yellow also means good luck.
  • Red – Red is a passionate color, and it also means love too.
  • Purple – Purple can be associated with either mystery or knowledge and often used as symbols of higher class.
  • Pink – Friendship and love. However, use red if it is a passion that you want to symbolize.
  • Blue – The blue color is a symbol of freedom. The ocean and the sky are blue. This color is present everywhere around us, usually in open areas.

As you can see, there are some very lovely meanings to these flowers, and that makes them prime candidates in the flower tattoo realms.

Black and White Hibiscus Tattoo

What if the color isn’t your style? A lot of people don’t want to have lots of color in their tattoos. Therefore, perhaps a black and white hibiscus tattoo is best. Although black and white tattoos look just as stunning as colored tattoos.

Firstly, there is a great benefit to having a black and white tattoo. They will go with anything that you already have in black. They will also go nicely with other things that you may only want in black.

  • Black and white tribal hibiscus tattoo.

Black and White Hibiscus Tattoo

  • Music notes with Black hibiscus flowers

Music notes with Black hibiscus flowers

  • Black hibiscus tattoos with foliage

Black hibiscus tattoos with foliage

  • Quotes with black hibiscus flowers

Quotes with black hibiscus flowers

  • Black Japanese sleeves with hibiscus flowers

Black Japanese sleeves with hibiscus flowers tattoo

  • Colored background with black hibiscus flowers

Colored background with black hibiscus flowers

Secondly, you can have your flower in black and white, then add color to it later on if you wish to.

White Hibiscus Tattoos

Just like the black and white hibiscus tattoo, you can use these in lots of ways. However, the only real difference here is the background that you choose. However, if you don’t have a tattooed backing, you will only end up with a black and white flower. Although, if you plan your background correctly, you can create the appearance of a white flower. Here are some white hibiscus flower tattoos:

White Hibiscus Tattoos

Believe it or not, one of the best ways to create a white flower is to add some color. Only little bits, usually in the middle. It is rare to find completely white flowers. Therefore, adding in a little bit of color will allow you and people that see it has been intentionally left white. Let me show you an example:

white Hibiscus flowers tattoo on feet

While at first you may look at this and think it is pink, take another look. It is only outlined and then dashed in pink. Therefore, you know it is a white flower.

Yellow Hibiscus Tattoos

You should use yellow hibiscus tattoos as icons for sunshine, happiness, and good luck. Although all tattoos can go anywhere, it is typical for yellow flowers to be in places with excellent visibility. The visibility of the yellow ink will give you and others around you a sense of brightness.

Yellow Hibiscus Tattoos

Yellow flower tattoos will go with any surroundings, but they tend to look more vibrant if they are used in colorful settings. This is shown very well in the picture below. This upper arm tattoo is in a prominent place, with many colors surrounding it. It is also an excellent setting for one of those flowers to be white as there are colors around the petals.

Red Hibiscus Flowers

With red being the color of passion, it is a beautiful color to have your hibiscus tattoo if you have it as a symbol of your lover. Because of the red, these make ideal flowers to have in Japanese artwork. I have also found that because red is such a dominant color, they look fabulous either as large or small tattoos.

Red Hibiscus Flowers tattoo

Hibiscus Tattoo Sleeve

Have you looked through some of the colors and you can’t decide which color you want? Why not have them all with a hibiscus sleeve tattoo? You can incorporate any number or combination of the flowers to your liking. If you have a few certain traits about yourself that you particularly like, then you can add them in. For example, if you are a fun loving, outdoor type of person, why not have yellow and blue?

Hibiscus Tattoo Sleeve

More of a mysterious and passionate type? Red and purple hibiscus flowers would suit you well.

Red and purple hibiscus flowers sleeve tattoo

How about if you have a family, with a few children? You could mix it up by having a red flower for your partner, and the similar colors to your children’s personality.

red flower hibiscus sleeve tattoo

There are many possibilities to this “mix and match” style of tattoo. This style is one that I have adapted myself. However, I used different flowers with different meanings for my children.

Watercolor Hibiscus Ink Ideas

If you are looking for something different, then why not look at the watercolor hibiscus tattoos that we have below. The use of a watercolor effect on these flowers can be unique. Furthermore, you can mix up watercolor tattoos to have any color that you like in one flower.

Watercolor tattoos are often washy by design. Adding a little bit of contrast with bold, straight lines can add a completely different feel to the artwork.

Watercolor Hibiscus Tattoos

Hawaiian Hibiscus Tattoo

Although Hawaiian hibiscus tattoos are generally the same as any other hibiscus, there is one difference. The color. Red (and before 1988 the yellow) is the color of the native state flower. Just remember, that the yellow flower is natively grown in Hawaii, whereas the red is not. This beautiful example shows two red flowers on a basic yet excellent tribal style design.

Hawaiian Hibiscus Tattoo

A common place to have a Hawaiian Hibiscus tattoo is actually on the feet.

Hawaiian Hibiscus Tattoo on feet

Hibiscus on Foot

I have just said how it is common to have a red or yellow flower on the feet, so I thought I would show you a different one here. This is a beautiful and petite hibiscus flower. The colors and shading go nicely together too. As you can see, it is quite a new tattoo, by the redness around the area.

Hibiscus Tattoo on Foot

The feet are often a desirable place to have Hawaiian style tattoos. Presumably, this is because you wear flip-flops or sandals quite a lot in this part of the world.

Hibiscus Tribal Tattoo

Tribal tattoos come in all shapes and sizes. Therefore, there are many combinations in which you can incorporate the hibiscus flower. You can have a large tribal design with small or large flowers mixed into it. Or you can have small tribal designs around a large flower. In this image, there is a small, intricate tribal design with a little flower and even a tribal style butterfly. Tribal tattoos are a very varied style that you can use for many different looks.

Hibiscus Tribal Tattoo

Hibiscus Wrist Tattoo

Flowers can look lovely on the wrists. Hibiscus flowers are no different. They are in ideal areas for tattoos too. The reason that the wrist is a perfect space, is because you can cover them up when you want to, and have them visible when you want too. The example here is a very intricate and beautiful design that is sure to impress everyone who sees it.

Wrist Tattoo

Traditional Hibiscus Tattoo

Traditional tattoos were used at the beginning of the tattoo era in the late 1800s. They weren’t designed as a specific style; moreover, they were a necessity. At the time of tattoo parlors opening for the first time, artists would need to make books of styles and images to use as templates. They were made with vibrant yet straightforward colors as there were not the same techniques as there are now. 

Traditional Hibiscus Tattoo

The traditional designs of tattoos have made a big comeback recently, and with impressive results. The inks and machines are so much more advanced now that they look beautiful. Hibiscus tattoos are no different, and they look gorgeous too. Take a look at the images that we have found of traditional hibiscus tattoos.


Both the hibiscus flower and the turtle have significant symbolism in Hawaii. That is probably why the two go so well together. The general meaning to the Hawaiian turtle is this: The turtles from Hawaii are named Honu, and they represent good luck and long life. It is said that turtles guided the first ever explorers of the islands to their destination with their abundant navigational skills.

Turtle Hibiscus Tattoo

When you add the Hawaiian hibiscus flower to a turtle, it will have the meaning of good luck, long life and then whichever flower color that you choose. Therefore, you could have a pink flower to symbolize good luck and long life in friendship.

Hibiscus Tattoos for Men

Honestly, as I have said in previous posts, there is no differentiating between “men and women” tattoos these days. Anyone can have any tattoo designs that they like. However, one of the more masculine looks that you can achieve with the hibiscus flower is to have bold, dark lines like the one in this image here.

Yellow flowers sleeve tattoos

Keeping it simple yet strong will increase the “manly” look of any tattoo, as it is shown here. There is nowhere on the body that you can’t have these tattoos either.


The simple Hibiscus tattoos are one of the best flowers for tattoo design. They look beautiful and delicate or strong and bold depending on the style that you want. You can use these flowers with any other style that you can think of, from a standalone flower to incorporated into tribal patterns or used in Japanese style sleeves.

They are a serious contender to any tattoo when you are looking for a flower with symbolism to go with it. If you have any other ideas of how to use the hibiscus flower, or you have a tattoo with a different style to the ones we have displayed, get in touch on our contact page.

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