Chinese Hibiscus Tree
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis – Chinese Hibiscus
Other Common Names: Tropical Hibiscus, Red Hibiscus, Shoeblackplant
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is a type of tropical hibiscus that belongs to Malvaceae – Mallow family. It is a flowering plant that is also known as Shoeblackplant, Hawaiian Hibiscus, Tropical Hibiscus, China Rose, and Chinese Hibiscus.
Chinese Hibiscus is an evergreen shrub that is typically bushy. Sometimes, it is also referred to as a small tree as it grows from 2.5 to 5 meters or 8 to 16 feet tall and 1.5 to 3 meters wide or 5 to 10 feet wide.
The leaves are glossy and dark green with pinnate veins and serrated margins. They are pretty simple and lance or oval shaped, with acute tips. The stems are also green, erect, cylindrical, and branched.
The Chinese Hibiscus blooms flowers all year round, but they will not survive freezing temperatures. The flowers can be in different colors, including red, pink, yellow, white, or orange. Sometimes, a combination of the colors can also grow from a single plant. Each flower has five petals that can grow up to 4 to 8 inches or 10 to 20 centimeters across. The petals are coiled and fused at the base to the staminal column.
The flowers are known as the butterfly plant because they usually attract large butterflies as well as birds such as the Japanese White-eyes which love nectars. The petals are also edible for humans and are often used as garnishing for salads and other cooked dishes.
Aside from food, it can also be used in hair care and to shine shoes. In Chinese herbology, it is also considered to have several medicinal uses.