Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Hibiscus, a large genus of exotic Malvaoeae, most tropical trees or shrubs. Their flowers are large and showy, borne singular, each having an epicalyx of many leaves, five united and persistent sepals, five petals united at the base to the staminal tube, and five many-seeded carpels with distinct styles. H. cannabinus, Indian hemp or bastard jute, yields a useful fibre, and resembles hemp in foliage and mode of growth. Its petals are pale yellow with a purple blotch at the base. H rosa-sinensis, a tree with large, variously-coloured flowers, has an astringent purple-black juice in its petals, used as a hair-dye in China and as blacking in Java. It is a greenhouse favourite; as also is H. syriacus, a shrubby autumn-flowering species commonly known as Althcea frutex. The Gombo (Alelmoschus or Hibiscus esculentus), with edible fruits, is closely allied.