Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Common Names: Chinese hibiscus, China rose, Hawaiian hibiscus, shoeblackplant
Category: Plants
Sub-category: Hibiscus genus

A bushy, evergreen shrub or small tree growing 2.5 to 5 m tall and 1.5 to 3 m wide, with glossy leaves and solitary, brilliant red flowers in summer and autumn. The 5-petaled flowers are 10 cm in diameter, with prominent orange-tipped red anthers. The root is a branched tap root. The stem is aerial, erect, green, cylindrical and branched. The leaf is simple, with alternate phyllotaxy and is petiolate. The leaf shape is ovate, the tip is acute and margin is serrated. Venation is unicostate reticulate. (Venation is branched or divergent.) Free lateral stipules are present.

Although not native to Connecticut, it is commonly used in landscaping and flower gardens. As a cultivated plant there is some variation in flower color, size, and shape, including white, orange, pink, and red cultivars.

Edible Notes: Flowers are edible and have a tart flavor. You can sometimes find Hibiscus tea, juice blends, or other Hibiscus flavored products in Connecticut specialty food stores such as Trader Joes.
Warnings: Not known to be dangerous.
Sightings