Hibiscus, genus of numerous species of herbs, shrubs, and trees in the mallow family that are native to warm temperate and tropical regions.
The leaves are often lobed and may be smooth or covered in trichomes. The flowers can be borne singly or in clusters. The flowers of many species last only a single day. An epicalyx is particularly common, and the stamens are typically fused into a tube. Members of the genus characteristically have spiny pollen, and their fruits are capsules. Hibiscuses are renowned for their large, showy flowers. The flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five or more petals, colour from white to pink, red, orange, peach, yellow or purple, and from 4 to 18 cm (1.6 to 7 in) broad.
The tropical Chinese hibiscus, or China rose (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), which may reach a height of 4.5 metres (15 feet), rarely exceeds 2 metres (6.5 feet) in cultivation. It is grown for its large somewhat bell-shaped blossoms. Cultivated varieties have red, white, yellow, or orange flowers. The East African hibiscus (H. schizopetalus), a drooping shrub with deeply lobed red petals, is often grown in hanging baskets indoors.
Other members of the genus Hibiscus include the fibre plants mahoe (H. tiliaceus), kenaf (H. cannabinus), and roselle (H. sabdariffa), rose of Sharon (H. syriacus), and many flowering plants known by the common name mallow
Hibiscus plants provide important ecological, aesthetic, culinary, and medicinal values.
Many species are grown for their showy flowers or used as landscape shrubs, and are used to attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.
Ecologically, the large hibiscus flowers provide nectar to pollinators.
A tea made from hibiscus flowers is known by many names around the world. It is rich in vitamin C, minerals, and antioxidants.
Dried hibiscus is edible, and it is often a delicacy in Mexico.
The health benefits of hibiscus tea include its ability to treat high blood pressure and high cholesterol, helps in the treatment of hypertension and anxiety, helps fight bacteria, disturbed digestive and immune system, inflammatory problems and liver diseases, as well as cancer. It can also speed up the metabolism and help in healthy, gradual weight loss.