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.