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Hibiscus rosa-sinensis - L.

Common Name Chinese Hibiscus, Shoeblackplant, Hawaiian Hibiscus, Tropical Hibiscus, China Rose, Rose-of-China, S
Family Malvaceae
USDA hardiness 9-11
Known Hazards Do not use during pregnancy or if planning children.
Habitats Not known in a truly wild situation
Range S. E. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (3 of 5)
Care (info)
Half Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Chinese Hibiscus, Shoeblackplant, Hawaiian Hibiscus, Tropical Hibiscus, China Rose, Rose-of-China, S

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis Chinese Hibiscus, Shoeblackplant, Hawaiian Hibiscus, Tropical Hibiscus, China Rose, Rose-of-China, S


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Bloom Color: Orange, Pink, Red, Salmon, White, Yellow. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early spring, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer, Mid spring. Form: Oval, Vase.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 2.5 m (8ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Insects.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Hibiscus boryanus. Hibiscus festalis. Hibiscus storckii

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Flowers  Leaves  Root
Edible Uses: Colouring

Young leaves are sometimes used as a spinach substitute[177, 183]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. Flowers - raw or cooked[240]. They can also be made into a kind of pickle or used as a purple dye for colouring foods such as preserved fruits and cooked vegetables[177, 183]. A nutritional analysis is available[218]. Root - it is edible but very fibrousy[144]. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour[144].

References   More on Edible Uses

Figures in grams (g) or miligrams (mg) per 100g of food.
Flowers (Fresh weight)
  • 0 Calories per 100g
  • Water : 89.8%
  • Protein: 0.06g; Fat: 0.4g; Carbohydrate: 0g; Fibre: 1.56g; Ash: 0g;
  • Minerals - Calcium: 4mg; Phosphorus: 27mg; Iron: 1.7mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 0mg; Zinc: 0mg;
  • Vitamins - A: 0mg; Thiamine (B1): 0.03mg; Riboflavin (B2): 0.05mg; Niacin: 0.6mg; B6: 0mg; C: 4.2mg;
  • Reference: [ 218]
  • Notes:

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Anodyne  Antispasmodic  Aperient  Aphrodisiac  Astringent  Demulcent  Emmenagogue  Emollient  
Poultice  Refrigerant  VD

Chinese hibiscus is a sweet, astringent, cooling herb that checks bleeding, soothes irritated tissues and relaxes spasms[238]. The flowers are aphrodisiac, demulcent, emmenagogue, emollient and refrigerant[240]. They are used internally in the treatment of excessive and painful menstruation, cystitis, venereal diseases, feverish illnesses, bronchial catarrh, coughs and to promote hair growth[238, 240]. An infusion of the flowers is given as a cooling drink to ill people[272]. The leaves are anodyne, aperient, emollient and laxative[240]. A decoction is used as a lotion in the treatment of fevers[240]. The leaves and flowers are beaten into a paste and poulticed onto cancerous swellings and mumps[218]. The flowers are used in the treatment of carbuncles, mumps, fever and sores[218]. The root is a good source of mucilage and is used as a substitute for marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis) in the treatment of coughs and colds[240, 272]. A paste made from the root is used in the treament of venereal diseases[272].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Cosmetic  Fibre  Hedge  Hedge  Polish

The juice from the petals is used in China as shoe-blacking and mascara[238]. A dye is made from the petals[272]. A good quality fibre is obtained from the stems[74]. In warm sub-tropical areas the fibres can be up to 3 metres long, but in Britain they are likely to be much shorter. The fibre is used for coarse fabrics, nets and paper[74]. Plants are often used for hedges and screens, though since they are not very cold hardy they are not suitable for this use in Britain[200].

Special Uses

Hedge  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses:Border, Container, Hedge, Standard, Seashore, Specimen. Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in a warm, sheltered position in full sun[200, 260]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is not very frost-tolerant and needs to be grown in essentially frost-free areas. It might succeed outdoors in the very mildest areas of the country if given a very sheltered warm position. Alternatively, it might be possible to grow the plant as a tender annual by starting it off early in a warm greenhouse. If well-grown it can flower and set seed in its first year. This species grows very well in a frost-free conservatory in Northern Europe so long as it is in a sunny position and free from draughts[260]. Plants will often lose most of their leaves in cool winters, though they will normally regenerate quickly as the warmer weather returns[260]. The flowers of Chinese hibiscus are very important in Hindu devotional ceremonies, being sacred to the Elephant God, Ganesh[238]. Individual flowers are short-lived, in many modern cultivars the flowers wither after 24 hours though in many of the older cultivars they can last for 48 hours[260]. There are many named forms, selected for their ornamental value[200]. Special Features:Attracts birds, Not North American native, Attracts butterflies, Blooms are very showy.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



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Plant Propagation

Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle. If growing them as annuals, plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer and protect them with a frame or cloche until they are growing away well. If hoping to grow them as perennials, then it is better to grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year and to plant them out in early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Overwinter them in a warm greenhouse and plant out after the last expected frosts.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Amapola, Aute samoa, Bup, Bunga raya, Bunga sepatu, Bussouge, Cha-baa, Chaba, Chembarathi, Chinese rose, Clavelon, Dam but, Dasavala, Dasindacha phula, Fasut jasum, Fu sang, Ghanti phul, Gugamela, Gumamela bulaklak, Japa, Jasavanda, Jasum, Jasut, Jasuva, Java pushpamu dasana, Java, Joba, Karibunamidi, Khaung-yan, Khaung-yan-ywet-hla, Kembang sepatu, Kembang sepatu mawar cina, Linyolo, Losi, Mamela, Mandaro, Mawkmnae, Pan-swe-le, Phurahong, Pushpam, Rooj, Rosa, Rudra, Saimaa, Sapattu mal, Semparuthi, Shoe flower, Te roti, Thelele, Vadamal, Watha wal,

Native Plant Search

Search over 900 plants ideal for food forests and permaculture gardens. Filter to search native plants to your area. The plants selected are the plants in our book 'Plants For Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens, as well as plants chosen for our forthcoming related books for Tropical/Hot Wet Climates and Mediterranean/Hot Dry Climates. Native Plant Search

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Africa, Antigua and Barbuda, Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Burkina Faso, Central Africa, Central America, China*, Congo, Costa Rica, East Africa, East Timor, France, Ghana, Greece, Guiana, Guianas, Guyana, Haiti, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Italy, Kiribati, Laos, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Marquesas, Marshall Islands, Mediterranean, Micronesia, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nepal, Pacific, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, PNG, Philippines, Pohnpei, Portugal, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, SE Asia, Sierra Leone, South America, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, USA, Vanuatu, Vietnam, West Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe,

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References


Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

Bárbara Aguila Gil   Mon Jul 14 21:21:47 2003

The flowers from hibiscus rosa-sinensis are very for phytopharmac. I need more information Thank you, very much.

Bárbara Aguila Laboratorio Mario Muñoz

Link: napralert

Ivan   Sun Jun 12 19:22:36 2005

I am doing a research on the antibacterial effect of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis leaf extract. This site has helped me a lot. On the contrary, I would like to ask for more informations especially on the checmicals present on this plant and their respective, specific actions. Thank you... Nice job!

Jude   Wed Feb 15 2006

I am a biochemistry student who is carrying out a research on the effect of aqueous extract of hibiscus rosa-sinensis on acetylcholinesterase and the possible use of the plant extract in the management of hypertension. this marvelous site has helped me in knowing so many things which is relevant to my research. I am not ungrateful, I appreciate but the initiators of this site should work harder in expanding their information especially on the discription based on the parts of the plant. Thanx

Captain_62   Tue Mar 21 2006

i have just completed a biology assignment on the medicinal purposes of hibiscus rosa-sinensis and this site has helped alot, thanks heaps keep up the good work Captain_62

   Thu Aug 31 2006

can anyone tellme about its hypocholesterolemic effects..i amgoing to proceed my thesis on this.

Danielle Jackson   Fri Sep 8 2006

This site has provided me with wonderful information relevant to my biology assignment. Not many sites explain the medicinal purposes of Hibiscus. Thank you, you've done a wonderful job

grace estrada   Fri Jul 6 2007

i want to know if Hibiscus rosa-sinensis can realy polish black shoes. im doing a research of that.

ApolloG   Mon Aug 20 2007

New research on the aphrodisiac properties of this hibiscus is presented at www.aphrodisiology.com/hibiscus. The plant has been shown to contain phytoandrogens, plant chemicals that mimic testosterone. While it can reduce uterine bleeding, it can also interfere with pregnancy. Women of childbearing years should think carefully before using this herb.

Aphrodisiology Review of research on aphrodisiac properties of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

tracytan   Wed Nov 21 2007

i wanna know information of callus induction of hibiscus rosa sinensis coz i m doing that. any info of micropropagation of this plant? thanks

MANISH PAL SINGH   Tue Jan 29 2008

this site very useful in my M.PHARM project work.thank you

Kitty Antonik Wakfer   Mon Mar 3 2008

Nice to see food composition information. However, that given for leaves cannot be correct at 0 calories if the protein, fat & carbohydrate values are as given. I'd like to reference this page as a nutrional source from MoreLife.org, and so would like to see the information corrected.

Cecilia   Wed Jun 11 2008

somebody help me please, I need a jurnal of Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

rj   Tue Jul 1 2008

We are proposing a research regarding the antipyretic effect of hibiscus rosa-sinensis. We are searching more information and data that can substantiate our proposal. Can you please help us give more info and sources regarding this matter. Thank you!

SWATI YERANDEKAR   Fri Sep 19 2008

The information given is very useful for my students of std viii who will be doing a project for forthcoming science exhibition.We would like to have more information about the drink prepared by using the petals of hibisus flower. Thank You! Swati Yerandekar Principal Ratanbai F. Pavri High School,Khetwadi, Mumbai 400010

Rajeev kumar   Fri Sep 19 2008

Hibiscus rosa is a flower but not smell in this flower why ?

Aparna   Fri Oct 31 2008

Can I have some information on micropropogation of Hibiscus

CLAURENCE   Sat Jan 3 2009


afshan   Mon Feb 2 2009

this site is good and provide lot of information..i need some information about tissue culture/in vitro culture work done on hibiscus rosa sinensis for micropropogation or invitro culture

HILDA.K   Thu Feb 12 2009


trudi   Wed Feb 18 2009

did any protocol is specifical to extract out the DNA of hibiscus rosa-sinensis?

adidev bharti   Fri Jun 5 2009

send me method of extraction and isolation of mucilage (polysaccharide) from the leaves.

Sanjeet Kumar(Gridih)   Sun Jun 21 2009

Really it is more useful in hair lose.


The leaves are used to substitute horse gram in making Idly and Dosa in villages in South India.

jessa cedeno   Wed Sep 30 2009

hi..im searching a topic for my thesis and this page give an idea..is it possible to make a shampoo out of hibiscus rosa-sinensis?or is there already a research on that and had already proven its effect?thank you so much..

mugunthan   Fri Jan 22 2010

in my researfch im using leaves of hibiscus for treatment of hiv, it is mainly responsible for growth of wbc cells.;..

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