Botanical name: Hibiscus
Botanical name: Hibiscus
Famous for their big, bold flowers, hibiscus are available in a variety of colors and sizes. These tropical plants prefer warm temperatures and need to be protected from the cold. Hibiscus grow quickly even in their first year. They love full sun and enjoy the warmth of a long, hot summer. Some species get used in the creation of paper, rope, and other products.
Species of Hibiscus
Rose mallows 'Mars Madness'
Rose mallows 'Mars Madness' has overlapping, slightly curved petals, reddish magenta in coloring with heavily creased veins. It has a wide, flatter habit than most rose mallows, at 15 to 20 cm. Purplish buds grow into ovate and trilobed dark olive leaves, forming a dense foliage with flowers from top to bottom. As a later-blooming hibiscus, it is a showy addition for end of summer gardens.
White rosemallow is native to Hawaii and boasts large, showy flowers that can reach up to 6 inches in diameter. The plant is important in traditional Hawaiian medicine.
Comfortroot grows in the tropics of Africa and Asia. It usually stays close to the ground and is often found in disturbed soils, marshes, and grasslands. Though not the most popular garden plant (the flowers bloom green, after all), it can be found in some gardening stores.
Rose of sharon 'Aphrodite'
Rose of sharon 'Aphrodite' is a Rose of Sharon cultivar, bred by the United States National Arboretum in the 1970s. Compared to the parent plant, the cultivar is more compact and features clear pink flowers that don't change their color like the parent's flowers do.
Paleface (Hibiscus denudatus), also known as Rock hibiscus, is a perennial shrub-like herb with messy vertical branches, small fuzzy leaves, and white to pink cup-shaped flowers. It is native to the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. Flowering usually lasts throughout the late summer. The pale leaves are often lost during droughts.
Rose of sharon 'Hamabo'
Fully frost hardy, the rose of sharon 'Hamabo' is valued among gardeners because of its large flowers. A variety of the Syrian ketmia, the rose of sharon 'Hamabo''s byname 'Hamabo' refers to the red splotch in the middle of the flower. Gardeners keep the rose of sharon 'Hamabo' for its year-round interest, with blooms from summer to fall and seed capsules in winter.
The Hibiscus coulteri is commonly known as desert rosemallow and mainly originates from Hawaii. It is also widespread in the United States and Mexico. The plant is grown for ornamental purposes because of its visually appealing flowers.
Rose of sharon 'Oiseau Bleu'
Also known as ‘Blue Bird’, rose of sharon 'Oiseau Bleu' is a large shrub (about 2.5 m tall) that bears violet-blue flowers that have red eyes and cream centers. These flowers bloom continuously from mid-summer to frost. Rose of sharon 'Oiseau Bleu' is a sterile Hibiscus cultivar that does not produce any viable seeds.
Swamp rosemallow is a water-loving plant that grows in swampy areas and a tropical climate. Growing as a tall shrub with flower-covered stalks, it produces very showy flowers that range from pinkish-white to bright pink-purple, with darker centers. Seeds are available commercially, and can often be found as part of native wildflower mixes.
Swamp rose mallow 'Ballet Slippers'
Swamp rose mallow 'Ballet Slippers' is a cultivar from the hibiscus family bred for its long blooming season and giant, showy flowers. The ruffled flowers can grow up to 18 cm wide, noticeably larger than the blooms on other plants in the genus. It also produces more flowers in the summer. Swamp rose mallow 'Ballet Slippers' gets its name from the pinkish-white flowers that are similar in color to a dancer's shoes.
Swamp rose mallow 'Southern Belle'
Swamp rose mallow 'Southern Belle' creates bell-shaped blooms that open up into huge, dinner-plate-size white or light pink flowers (approximately 25 to 30 cm wide). This shrub is considered more cold hardy than other species of hibiscus plants and can regrow from its base each year. Gardeners typically use this plant as an eye-catching addition to their collection.
The scarlet rosemallow (Hibiscus coccineus) is native to the southeastern parts of the USA. It is found near marshes, swamps, and other moist areas, so in the garden, it does well near streams or water features. As it is tall-growing, it is wise to stake it.
Rose mallows 'Cranberry Crush'
Rose mallows 'Cranberry Crush' is a kind of rose mallow that has been bred for its perfectly spherical, bright red blooms. Each flower is a remarkable 20 cm across and lasts for a single day, though the plants will keep blooming continuously between midsummer and fall. This cultivar produces flowers all over the plant instead of just at the top, like some types of hibiscus.
Other names for heartleaf rosemallow (Hibiscus martianus) include Tulipan Del Monte and heartleaf hibiscus. This plant is indigenous to the southwestern United States and is a fantastic attractor of hummingbirds.
Swamp rose mallow 'Robert Fleming'
Swamp rose mallow 'Robert Fleming' is a standout hibiscus with huge red flowers that reach 25 cm wide. This contrasts with the paler flowers of the parent plant, which can reach 15 cm wide. This hibiscus is named for one of the three Fleming brothers, who were noted American flower hybridizes in the 19th Century.
The halberd-leaf rosemallow or Hibiscus laevis produces delicate, showy flowers. These blooms only open in bright sunlight and last for a single day. This deciduous perennial is related to the marshmallow, the plant that was critical to the first marshmallow confections. Its name, meanwhile, references the similarity its leaves bear to the medieval weapon called the halberd.
Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa) is a hibiscus species native to Africa. The fragrant plant has many uses as an infusion in beverages, as a vegetable, and in culinary use in jams and preserves.
A unique feature of the confederate rose (Hibiscus mutabilis) is its color-changing flowers. This shrubby rose bush blooms starting as white in the morning, turn pink at midday, and end red by the end of the day. This is a common plant species and although it is native to Southeast China, it can now be found on every continent except Antarctica.
Swamp rose mallow
Hibiscus moscheutos, colloquially known as swamp rose mallow, is a common ornamental plant. It is a vigorous, cold-hardy perennial that thrives in moist soils. Its showy white to pink flowers are often visited by pollinators. Swamp rose mallow is a larval host of various butterfly and moth species.
Rose of sharon
Hibiscus syriacus is a deciduous shrub with trumpet-shaped pink, lavender, or white flowers. Although it was first collected by Western botanists from Syrian gardens, “rose of sharon” is native to south-central and southeastern China. Because of its hardiness and prolific blooming, it is cultivated all around the world. It is the national flower of South Korea, mentioned in its national anthem.
Swamp rose mallow 'Luna Red'
Swamp rose mallow 'Luna Red' is distinct for its red flowers with white stamens. The cultivar is named Swamp rose mallow 'Luna Red' for its big, moonlike shape and the color of its blooms, which also differentiate it from its parent plant. Gardeners appreciate this plant for its hardiness, as it is capable of surviving harsh winters, as well as the beauty of the large flowers it produces all summer long.
Flower-of-an-hour gets its unique name because its beautiful blossoms last for just a short time. The Hibiscus trionum is a tropical ornamental annual plant which has become naturalized in the United States. After blossoms fade, the plant produces an interesting balloon-shaped seed pod with brown stripes over a green pod.
Spider hibiscus (Hibiscus schizopetalus) is a shrub that’s indigenous to eastern Africa. Other names for it include coral hibiscus, skeleton hibiscus, and fringed rosemallow. It’s often used ornamentally in tropical gardens. Many people think the hanging flowers look like Japanese lanterns, and, in fact, this is yet another name for them.
Rose mallows 'Mocha Moon'
Rose mallows 'Mocha Moon' is a kind of rose mallow which has been bred for its perfectly round, white blooms with deep pink centers - a striking color combination unique to this variant. Each 20 cm-wide flower looks as bright as a full moon, but lasts only a single day. The plant will, however, keep blooming continuously between midsummer and fall.
Wooly rose-mallow is a fascinating plant with many interesting characteristics. This remarkable perennial boasts vibrant flowers that bloom throughout the summer, attracting a variety of colorful insects and birds. Its garden usage is extensive, as it adds beauty and charm to any environment. With its unique name origin and captivating appearance, the wooly rose-mallow is truly a standout in the plant kingdom.
Rose of sharon 'Red Heart'
Rose of sharon 'Red Heart' is a Hibiscus shrub that produces white flowers with red centers (or ‘hearts’). The flowers bloom from mid-summer to early fall. The shrub grows up to 3 m tall and has a spread of 1.8 m.
Rose of sharon 'William R. Smith'
Rose of sharon 'William R. Smith' is a deciduous shrub that has dark green, three-lobed leaves, and lone white flowers. These trumpet-shaped flowers bloom from mid-summer to early fall. The bush grows up to 3 m high with a spread of 1.8 m. Rose of sharon 'William R. Smith' is named in honor of Reverand William Smith who was an avid gardener.
Rose of sharon 'Diana'
Rose of sharon 'Diana' is a bushy Hibiscus that blooms pure white flowers. These flowers bloom continuously from mid-summer to frost, and each flower only lasts one day. Unlike other Hibiscus, these flowers remain open in the evening. The ovate leaves are dark green but change to golden-yellow in the fall. The cultivar is named for the Greek goddess, Diana.
Swamp rose mallow 'Cherry Cheesecake'
Swamp rose mallow 'Cherry Cheesecake', a Rose mallow cultivar, was selected and bred for its compact size, attractive dark foliage, and exceptionally large and beautiful pinkish-white flowers with irregular purple-red veining and dark red, central "eyes". The flowers are single, but the thick petals heavily overlap, creating a rich texture.
Swamp rose mallow 'Berry Awesome'
Famous for their big, bold flowers, swamp rose mallow 'Berry Awesome' are available in a variety of colors and sizes. These tropical plants prefer warm temperatures and need to be protected from the cold. Swamp rose mallow 'Berry Awesome' grow quickly even in their first year. They love full sun and enjoy the warmth of a long, hot summer. Some species get used in the creation of paper, rope, and other products.
Swamp rose mallow 'Disco Belle White'
This cultivar was created to be more compact than its counterparts, with flowers distinct in appearance. The swamp rose mallow 'Disco Belle White', from the Swamp rose mallow plant, has extra-large flowers colored a bright, snowy white, with a ruby center and protruding yellow stamens. This plant is deer-resistant and does well against pests and diseases.
Rose of sharon 'Woodbridge'
Famous for their big, bold flowers, rose of sharon 'Woodbridge' are available in a variety of colors and sizes. These tropical plants prefer warm temperatures and need to be protected from the cold. Rose of sharon 'Woodbridge' grow quickly even in their first year. They love full sun and enjoy the warmth of a long, hot summer. Some species get used in the creation of paper, rope, and other products.
Rose of sharon 'Marina'
Famous for their big, bold flowers, rose of sharon 'Marina' are available in a variety of colors and sizes. These tropical plants prefer warm temperatures and need to be protected from the cold. Rose of sharon 'Marina' grow quickly even in their first year. They love full sun and enjoy the warmth of a long, hot summer. Some species get used in the creation of paper, rope, and other products.
Swamp rose mallow 'Luna Pink Swirl'
This hardy cultivar, Swamp rose mallow 'Luna Pink Swirl', gets its name from the large, round flowers reminiscent of the full moon, that feature a swirl of pink and white colors around a dark red center. In comparison, the blooms on the parent plant are single rather than multi-colored. Gardeners cherish swamp rose mallow 'Luna Pink Swirl's gorgeous flowers which attract not only the eye but also visiting butterflies.
Swamp rose mallow 'Luna White'
Swamp rose mallow 'Luna White' is distinguished from its parent plant by its large, brilliant white flowers with red centers and cream-colored stamens. These large, showy flowers only last for one or two days, but its prolific summer blooming period makes it a popular plant in bee and butterfly gardens.
Swamp rose mallow 'Airbrush Effect'
Swamp rose mallow 'Airbrush Effect' is uniquely pink and cultivated from Hibiscus moscheutos. The name is a reference to the appearance of it having been spray-painted or airbrushed. This plant gains gardeners' approval because it is deer resistant and looks tropical whilst also having a long bloom season.
Rose of sharon 'Pink Giant'
Rose of sharon 'Pink Giant' is a large shrub that has dark green, lobed leaves and dark pink flowers with dark red centers. These flowers bloom from late summer to mid-autumn. This giant Hibiscus cultivar grows up to 2.5 m and can have a spread of 2 m.
Swamp rose mallow 'Perfect Storm'
The swamp rose mallow 'Perfect Storm' was created from the swamp rose plant to offer the beauty and coloring of the original plant in a more compact package. With white flowers surrounding a rounded clump of leaves colored so deeply purple they are nearly black, this cultivar is appreciated as a container plant.
Chinese hibiscus is a small flowering tree. Its fragrant flowers are well known the world over, leading to many cultivated variants. Chinese hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia and is featured on Malaysian coins. Although the Latin name, Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, means “the rose of China,” it is not related to true roses.
African rosemallow (*Hibiscus acetosella*), also known as cranberry hibiscus, is an edible vegetable that originally comes from Central Africa. It was later brought to Brazil and used to feed slaves. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, and the flowers are used to color teas. The roots can also be eaten but are considered unappetizing.