The leaves of the Hibiscus are alternate and often have a toothed or lobed margin. The flowers are large and trumpet-shaped with five or more petals. The colors can range from white to pink, red, orange, purple, or yellow and from 4-18 cm long. The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule containing several seeds in each lobe, which are released when the capsule splits open at maturity. The bark contains strong bast fibers.
The Hibiscus is indigenous to subtropic and tropical areas. It cannot survive where the temperatures are lower than 56 degrees fahrenheit.The Hibiscus prefers sun but tolerates partial shade. An excess amount of shade inhibits flower production. Two hours of direct sunlight is enough to stimulate blooming.
The Hibiscus Syracuse is the national flower of South Korea and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. The Hibiscus is the national flower of Haiti. It appears often in Indian art. In the Philippines, the flower can be used by children as part of a bubble-making pastime. It can also be traditionally worn by Tahitian and Hawaiian girls. If the flower is worn behind the left ear, the woman is married or in a relationship. If the flowers is worn behind the right ear, the woman is single. The flower is used in landscaping, making tea, and even eaten in Mexico.