Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants. It belongs in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus is large with several hundred species. Hibiscus is native to warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical regions around the world. Hibiscus is also know as sorrel, flor de Jamaica and rosemallow. The genus contains both annual and perennial plants, woods shrubs and small trees. Hibiscus is an evergreen plants. It names is dervied from the Greek word hibiskos.
Hibiscus is well known for its large flowers which are trumpet shaped with five or more petals. The flowers come in many colors including white, pink, red, orange, purple, or yellow. They are 4 to 18 cm in diameter. The leaves are alternate, ovate to lanceolate and usually come with a toothed or lobed margin. The fruit is a dry five lobed capsule wich contains several seeds in each lobe. The seeds are red and white. Hibiscus is an excellent evergreen shrub and is widely grown for landscaping because of its showy flowers which are used as landscape shrubs to attract butterflies, bees and hummingbirds.
Kenaf species of Hibiscus is used for paper making. Hibiscus is also used for trea making. The flowers are used in the tea in many countries and it is served both hold or cold. This beverage is well known around the world and is best known for its color, tanginess and flavor. In Jamaica, a hibiscus beverage is known as sorrel. It is popular at Christmas time and is served cold mixed with other herbs and spices, and sometimes mixed with rum or wine. Dried hibiscus plant is edible and is considered as delicacy in Mexico. In many countries hibiscus has a very important role in culture.
Hibiscus syriacus is the national flower of South Korea. Hibiscus rosa sinensis is the nation flower of Malaysia. In many Asian countries hibiscus flowers are used as offerings to god and goddess. Hibiscus plant also has many health benefits. It is a popular natural diuretic because it contains vitamin C and minerals. Hibiscus tea is also used to lower blood pressure and is used in Chinese herbalogy, and Indian tradional system of medicine.