Hibiscus is a genus comprising 200 - 220 species of flowering plants in the mallow family Malvaceae, native to warm, temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. This genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees.

Hibiscus leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to lanceolate, often with a toothed or lobed margin. Its flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five or more petals, and colors ranging from white to pink, red, orange, purple or yellow. Hibiscus mutabilis and Hibiscus tiliaceus have flower color that changes with age. The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule dehisces (splits open) at maturity.

Many species of Hibiscus are grown as ornamental plants or used as landscape shrubs, some grown to attract butterflies and bees. Hibiscus is also used as a primary ingredient in many herbal teas. Hibiscus cannabinus (Kenaf) is grown extensively for paper making, while Hibiscus sabdariffa (roselle) is grown as a vegetable and to make herbal tea and jams, especially in the Caribbean.

Hibiscus syriacus is commonly known as Rose of Sharon in North America. It is also known as Shrub Althea, Rose of Althea, and Mugunghwa (in Korea). Hibiscus syriacus is a rather slow-growing, upright shrub, 2.4 x 1.8 m with dark-green, three-lobed leaves. It is one of the last deciduous shrubs to come into leaf, and for this reason, it needs a sheltered position to protect the buds from late frosts. From late summer to early atumn, it bears single, trumpet-shaped, lilac-blue flowers. Hibiscus syriacus is the commonly grown garden hibiscus in the temperate zones and it is the national flowers of South Korea.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis (Chinese Hibiscus, China Rose, Shoe Flower) and many of its varieties, cultivars and hybrids are the most popular grown ornamental plants troughout the tropics and subtropics. It is an evergreen flowering shrubs native to East Asia. The flowers are large, firm and generally red in the original varieties. Numerous cultivars, varieties and hybrids have since been developed, with flower colors ranging from white to yellow, orange to scarlet and shades of pink, and the petals are in single or double sets.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. it is called Bunga Raya in Malay. In Malay, bunga is flower while raya is big. In 1958, it was nominated amongst other flowers, namely ylang-ylang, jasmine, lotus, rose, magnolia and bunga tanjung (Malay word) as the national flower. It was officially the national flower of Malaysia in 28 July 1960.

Hibiscus is a hardy and trouble-free plant, and grows well in full sun, fertile, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil. Propagation is by greenwood cuttings in late spring; semi-ripe cuttings in summer.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensisHibiscus rosa-sinensis
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hibiskus_rosa-sinensis_-_Kwiat.JPG
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Hibiscus syriacusHibiscus syriacus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:3157_-_Vaduz_-_Hibiscus.JPG
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Hibiscus syriacusHibiscus syriacus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:2007-07-09Hibiscus_syriacus04.jpg
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Hibiscus schizopetalusHibiscus schizopetalus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hibiscus_schizopetalus_%28Botanischer_Garten_TU_Darmstadt%29.jpg
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Hibiscus waimeaeHibiscus waimeae
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_060904-8697_Hibiscus_waimeae.jpg
authorshipForest & Kim Starr
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Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp. brackenridgeiHibiscus brackenridgei subsp. brackenridgei
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Starr_050301-4729_Hibiscus_brackenridgei_subsp._brackenridgei.jpg
authorshipForest & Kim Starr
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Hibiscus lobatusHibiscus lobatus
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hibiscus_lobatus_W3_IMG_4068.jpg
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Hibiscus sabdariffaHibiscus sabdariffa
photo sourcehttp://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hibiscus_sabdariffa_2.jpg
authorshipFranz Xaver
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 Index of 690 Plants in The Flowering Garden

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