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List of Different Varieties of Hibiscus Flowers

By Michelle Wishhart ; Updated September 21, 2017
The outline of the hibiscus flower is recognized worldwide.

The flowers of the numerous plants in the hibiscus genus have become true icons of the tropics, conjuring up images of sunshine and relaxation. More than 200 species of hibiscus grow worldwide in warm climates, and the brilliant colors of the long blooming plant have earned them great popularity as ornamental garden plants.

Swamp Hibiscus

Swamp hibiscus (Hibiscus diversifolius) is a sprawling shrub that can be found in many parts of the world, from Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Central and South America, and many of the Pacific Islands. The plant has a low frost tolerance, growing only in dry, sunny locations throughout swamps and coastal regions. The plant has prickly stems, and bright green foliage. The swamp hibiscus produces beautiful pale yellow blooms with deep crimson centers, and the plant flowers from spring through autumn.

Giant Rose Mallow

The beautiful crimson center of the giant rose mallow.

Giant rose mallow (Hibiscus grandiflorus) gets its name from its size: the plant has the largest blooms out of any hibiscus in the United States. Giant rose mallow produces 6-inch blooms with pale pink petals with a deep red center. The plant can be found throughout the Southeastern United States in brackish water. The plant blooms in mid summer into the fall, and while flowers only last about a day, the plant produces enough flowers to keep the shrub in color throughout the whole season. Though not drought resistant, giant rose mallows thrive in full sun and are frequently cultivated in warm climates

Philip Island Hibiscus

The Philip Island hibiscus (Hibiscus insularis) is an extremely rare hibiscus that is native exclusively to Philip Island, a small island located to the South of Norfolk Island off the coast of Australia. The Australian federal legislation has listed the Philip Island hibiscus as critically endangered, although the flower's population is thriving now that it is being cultivated for ornamental purposes. The Philip Island hibiscus is a striking flower with lilac petals and a hot pink center.

 

About the Author

 

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based in Portland, Ore. She has been writing professionally since 2005, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for City on a Hill Press, an alternative weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz, Calif. An avid gardener, Wishhart worked as a Wholesale Nursery Grower at Encinal Nursery for two years. Wishhart holds a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and English literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.