Published: Tue, July 25, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Hibiscus photos on Flickr | Flickr

Hibiscus, commonly hibiscus, is the name of a broad genus of about 150 accepted species, of the more than 1,000 described, of the family Malvaceae, typical of warm environments, in tropical and subtropical regions.

Many species are grown for their striking flowers or used as shrubs in landscaping. They are also a major ingredient in herbal teas.

The genus includes herbaceous, annual or perennial plants, small shrubs and small trees. The leaves are alternate, simple, from ovate to lanceolate, often with closed or lobed margin. The flowers are long, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five petals, from white to pink, red, purple or yellow, orange, 4 to 15 cm in size. The fruit is a capsule that contains several seeds in each loci.

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One of the species, known as kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) is widely used in papermaking. Of Jamaica (Hibiscus sabdariffa), is used as vegetable and to make infusions of herbs and jams (especially in the Caribbean). In Latin America, the drink known as Jamaican water, made from the calyxes of this species, is very popular and in Egypt and Sudan the petals are used to make an infusion called carcad.

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