Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

JSP Page
Hibiscus L. ,nom. cons.

Annual or perennial herbs, undershrubs , shrubs or trees; branchlets glabrate or sparsely to densely pubescent or tomentose with simple hairs and sometimes scarbid or with stellate hairs (tufted or appressed) and recurved simple hairs decurrrent in one or two lines from the base of stipules. Leaves simple, palmilobed to palmiparted, rarely pennilobed, often with obscure nectaries or nectariferous zone on midrib beneath; stipules subulate to linear, ovate or foliaceous. Flowers axillary, solitary, or in terminal, lax racemes or panicles by reduction of upper leaves. Epicalyx segments 3 - many, rarely absent. Calyx 5-lobed or 5-parted, distinctly nerved, sometimes with nectaries, persistent. Corolla generally large and showy, rotate, campanulate or cylindrical, variously coloured. Staminal column shorter or as long as petals, rarely longer, truncate or 5-toothed at apex, antheriferous throughout or only in the upper half. Ovary 5-locular or 10-locular by 5 false septa, ovules 3 or more in each locule; style 1, distally 5-branched, spreading; stigmas usually discoid, sometimes capitate or not distinct. Capsules loculicidally dehiscent, usually 5-loculed or 10-loculed by false dissepiments. Seeds 3 - many in each locule, reniform, subglobose or obovoid, glabrous or hairy.

Throughout tropics and subtropics of the world, a few extend to temperate areas, ca 250 species; 23 in India.

Notes. Most of the species grow at low altitudes and found in the areas of comparatively high rainfall; usually grow in waste places and road sides etc; tree species grow in secondary forests in hilly tracts.

Literature. RAKSHIT, S.C. & B.C. KUNDU(1970). Revision of the Indian species of Hibiscus. Bull. Bot. Surv. India 12: 151 -175.


1a. Capsules often 10-loculed by false dissepiments; trees, treelets, woody climbers or scandent shrubs 2
b. Capsules 5-loculed; Herbs, undershrubs or shrubs (not scandent) 3
2a. Leaves unlobed or rarely 3-lobed(H. scandens); stipulc:s large, foliaceous, sometimes linear-lanceolate (n. fragrans) enveloping young sprouts; epicalyx segments connate at base; seeds hairy 1. AZANZA
b. Leaves 3 - 5-palmilobed; stipules linear, lanecolale; epicalyx segments free; seeds glabrous. 7. SPATULA
3a. Epicalyx segments forked at apex, linear or oblanceolate; calyx lobes prominently 3-veined; stems with prickles or bristles or both; herbs or undershrubs 2. FURCARIA
b. Epicalyx segments not forked at apex; calyx lobes without prominent veins; stems without bristtes or prickles; undershrubs, shrubs or herbs 4
4a. Staminal column longer than corolla, antheriferous towards apex; fruits rarely develop; leaves unlobed; shrubs 5. LILIBISCUS
b. Staminal column shorter than corolla, antheriferous throughout; fruits well developed; leaves lobed or entire; herbs, undershrubs or shrubs 5
5a. Segments of epicalyx very short, often caducous 6. SOLANDRA
b. Segments of epicalyx distinctly long, persistent 6
6a. Speeds hairy 7
b. Seeds glabrous or tubercled 8
7a. Seeds covered with long silky, ferrugenous hairs 3. HIBISCUS
b. Seeds tomentose with short bairs 8. TRICHOSPERMUM
8a. Calyx more or less inflated particularly in fruit, lobes many-veined; mostly shrubs, sometimes herbs 9. TRIONUM
b. Calyx not inflated, lobes 3-veined; herbs or undershrubs 4. KETMIA

JSP Page
  • Search