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 Hibiscus subsp. var.  
A flower close to the ground-4261.jpg
Habit: shrub
Height: to
Width: to
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Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Lifespan: perennial, annual
Exposure: sun
Water: moderate, dry
Features: flowers
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones: varies by species
Flower features: red, orange, yellow, blue, purple, multicolored, pink, white, single, double, everblooming
Malvaceae > Hibiscus var. ,

Hibiscus, or rosemallow, is a large genus of about 200-220 species of flowering plants native to warm, temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, and woody shrubs and small trees. Seven species are commonly grown, one is annual, another is a perennial that is like a shrub, two are shrubs that are decidious and three shrubs that are evergreen. These seven are cultivated primarily for their showy flowers, though one is grown mostly as food and another for its colored foliage.

The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to lanceolate, often with a toothed or lobed margin. The flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five or more petals, ranging from white to pink, red, purple or yellow, and from 4-15 cm broad. The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule splits open at maturity.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Hibiscus (old Latin name). Including Abelmoschus and Paritium. Malvaceae. Rose-mallow. Showy-flowered garden and greenhouse herbs and shrubs; in the tropics some of them are trees.

Hibiscus is a polymorphous genus, allied to Gossypium, Abutilon, Althaea and Malva, the species widely distributed in temperate and tropical countries: herbs or shrubs, or even trees, with leaves palmately veined or parted: parts of the fl. in 5's; calyx gamosepalous, 5-toothed or 5-cleft, subtended by an involucel of narrow bracteoles; corolla usually campanulate, showy, of 5 distinct petals; stamens united into a 5-toothea column; ovary 5-loculed, bearing 5 styles: fr. a dry, more or less dehiscent caps (Fig. 1828).—Between 150 and 200 species, of which perhaps 20 occur in the U. S. Horticultur- ally, there are 4 general groups of Hibiscus—the annuals, the perennial border herbs, the hardy shrubs, and the glasshouse shrubs, to which might Dc added the treelike species of tropical countries that are often planted along roadsides and about dwellings. The perennial herbaceous species are among the boldest subjects for planting in remote borders or in roomy places, particularly in soil that is damp. These plants, of the H. Moscheutos type, are commonly known as marsh-mallows, but this name properly belongs to Altheae officinalis.

In recent years, improved and valuable hardy forms of the native herbaceous rose-mallows have been introduced. They bloom throughout a long season. (Fig. 1829.) The Meehan Mallow Marvels were introduced in 1905, the first successful cross having been made in 1898. They are stated to be hybrids of H. coccineus, H. militaris, and H. moscheutos. They arc in pink, shades of red, and white; the flowers often have an eye of different color. The Giant-flowering marsh-mallows of Bobbink & Atkins, now catalogued as H. moscheutos hybrids, were first offered in 1909 at retail and in 1911 to the trade. They are stated to be hybrids of H. coccineus and H. moscheulos, the first cross being made in 1905, first plant flowered in 1906. The colors range from white to crimson, sometimes with an eye. The culture of such a various group as hibiscus cannot be described in detail. In general, the species present no special difficulties. They are strong and profuse growers, and mostly thrive under a variety of conditions.—The herbaceous perennial species are late summer and fall bloomers, with hollyhock-like flowers. They send up new strong shoots or canes each year. Many of them are perfectly hardy in the North, but even these profit by a mulch covering. Others are tender in the North, and the roots should be taken up after frost and stored in a dry, warm cellar. Keep them just moist enough to maintain life in them. Many times the roots of these herbaceous species are set in large pots in the spring, and they then make excellent specimens. All the species require a deep rich soil and a good unfailing supply of moisture.—The only popular glasshouse species in this country is H. rosa-sinensis, a showy and floriferous summer bloomer, of many varieties.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


Tropical hibiscus plants need to be kept in warm temperatures, and bloom best in temperatures ranging from 15 to 35 degrees. They like regular water, but may tolerate low levels of water. Ensure good drainage so water does not sit by the roots. Water more in warm weather, and in colder weather, only water the plant if it looks dry. Hibiscus thrive with plant food. If you are potting your flower, make sure the pot excellent drainage. Spraying plants and under leaves with strong jets of water helps protect against aphid and whitefly infestations. Care for individual species can vary a great deal, so see species listed below for additional information.


Mainly by rooting cuttings or seed.

Pests and diseases

Whitefly, aphids, scales, etc. Hibiscus species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Chionodes hibiscella, Hypercompe hambletoni, the Nutmeg moth, and the Turnip Moth.


In temperate zones, probably the most commonly grown ornamental species is Hibiscus syriacus, the common garden Hibiscus, also known in some areas as the "Rose of Althea" or "Rose of Sharon" (but not to be confused with the unrelated Hypericum calycinum, also called "Rose of Sharon"). In tropical and subtropical areas, the Chinese hibiscus (H. rosa-sinensis), with its many showy hybrids, is the most popular hibiscus.

  Common name Habit Lifespan Exposure Water Min temp
Hibiscus perennial
sun moderate
Hibiscus acetosella Red-leaf hibiscus
Hibiscus schizopetalus Coral Hibiscus
Skeleton Hibiscus
Japanese Lantern
Fringed Hibiscus
perennial part-sun moist
Hibiscus syriacus Rose of Sharon
Shrub Althea
Rose of Althea
perennial sun moist

About 200-220 species are known, including the following (the top 7 species grown are in bold):

A white Hibiscus arnottianus in Hawaii.
A red Hibiscus of Kerala
(Hibiscus rosa-sinensis).


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