The genus Hibiscus contains over 200 flowering plants. Mostly found in tropical, subtropical, and warm-temperate climates, they are known for their big and beautiful flowers.
The name Hibiscus is often associated with colorful and flamboyant species/varieties, most notably Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, also known as Chinese Hibiscus or Tropical Hibiscus. However, Hardy Hibiscus commonly known as Rose Mallows is a group of plants with equal beauty, native to parts of the US, and more tolerant of colder temperatures.
The Hibiscus flower is easily recognizable and has become symbolic in many countries and cultures. H. rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia, H. syriacus is the national flower of South Korea, and H. brackenridgei is the state flower of Hawaii.
Unique Hibiscus Varieties To Add To Your Garden
With so many species and varieties, finding the perfect addition to any garden would be easy. Pick some of these types of hibiscus and start growing them for a beautiful yard.
#1 Scarlet Rose Mallow (H. coccineus)
Also known as the Texas Hibiscus, this species may grow up to 8 feet tall and has bold red flowers which can be up to 6 inches across. This plant does well beside ponds or in boggy areas and is moderately salt tolerant.
#2 Spider Hibiscus (H. schizopetalus)
Native to tropical East Africa, this shrub may grow up to 12 feet tall and has truly unique flowers. Flowers are almost lacy with a mixture of red and pink and hang down resembling a Chinese Lantern.
#3 Oʻahu White Hibiscus (H. arnottianus)
Oʻahu White Hibiscus is endemic to Hawaii and has mildly fragranced flowers. Flowers are white with a red stamen but may change from white to pink, particularly towards the end of the day. This tree can reach 30 – 50 feet tall.
#4 Berry Awesome (H. moscheutos)
Commonly known as a Rose Mallow, this Hardy Hibiscus grows up to 6 feet tall. It has purple-pink flowers with a central burgundy eye. Flowers can grow up to 8 inches across.
#5 Brackenridge’s rosemallow (H. brackenridgei)
Also known as Native Yellow Hibiscus, this flower has been the state flower of Hawaii since 1988. Growing up to 30 feet tall. This plant has bright yellow flowers.
#6 White Chiffon (H. syriacus)
This beautiful variety can grow up to 8 feet tall and has delicate white double flowers which can grow up to 4 inches wide.
#7 Eye Of Kali (H. rosa-sinensis)
This hibiscus plant has stunning blooms which grow up to 8 inches wide. The petals are ruffle-edged and orange-yellow with a central red eye ringed with deep pink.
#8 Hawaiian Pink Hibiscus (H. furcellatus)
Native to Hawaii, flower color ranges from pink to light purple, with deeper shades at the base of the petals. This shrub can be grown along water edges and can tolerate its roots being submerged in water.
#9 Pink Swamp Hibiscus (H. grandiflorus)
Endemic to the southeast US, this hibiscus plant is found in wet, swampy areas with either fresh or brackish water. It has large pink or white fragrant flowers with a darker pink center. Blooms open at night and can grow up to 10 inches wide.
#10 Blue Bird (H. syriacus)
This shrub is a well-known cultivar and grows up to 8 feet tall. Flowers are violet-blue with a maroon eye and cream center. Blooms are trumpet-shaped and grow up to 3 inches wide.
#11 Coastal Cottonwood (H. tiliaceus)
Coastal Cottonwood is native to East Africa and parts of the central Pacific. Found in coastal areas, this hibiscus tree can grow up to 30 feet tall and is often associated with mangrove habitats. Flowers are cup-shaped, can be orange or yellow, and have a dark maroon central eye.
#12 Luna Pink Swirl (H. moscheutos)
The flowers of this shrub are large and white, with attractive pink swirls and a red central eye. Petals are overlapping and blooms can be up to 8 inches wide.
#13 Luna Red (H. moscheutos)
A compact shrub growing up to 3 feet tall. Flowers are up to 8 inches wide with rich, burgundy-colored petals and a contrasting cream-colored stamen.
#14 Red Dragon (H. rosa-sinensis)
This hibiscus plant has bold, bright red, double flowers. Blooms are numerous during the summer months and are eye-catching against the dark green foliage.
#15 Fireball (H. moscheutos)
Flowers are up to 10 inches wide with crimson petals and a rich, deep red, central eye. Under full sun conditions mature foliage develops rich purple-colored veins.
#16 Southern Belle (H. moscheutos)
This shrub is compact, growing up to 3 feet tall. Petals are overlapping and blooms can be up to 10 inches wide. Flowers are a mixture of white and pinks with a deep red central eye.
#17 Confederate Rose (H. mutabilis)
Flowers are single or double petalled and up to 6 inches in diameter. Remarkably, flowers may emerge as white or pale pink in the morning, before turning bright pink or even red by the evening.
#18 Aphrodite (H. syriacus)
This plant has bright, ruffled, pink flowers with a red central eye and pale-yellow stamen. Flowers can grow up to 4 inches across.
#19 Helene (H. syriacus)
A single-layer flower of white petals with a purple-red starburst from the center. May sometimes contain 1 or 2 smaller, narrow petals in the center.
#20 El Capitolio (H. rosa-sinensis)
Flowers may be red, pink, or orange, with a contrasting color at the base. The extra set of ruffled petals at the end of the stamen give the impression of a Flamenco dress.
#21 Freedom (H. syriacus)
This shrub has bright purple-pink flowers with a double layer of petals. It may grow up to 10 feet.
#22 Roselle (H. sabdariffa)
An annual shrub that can grow up to 8 feet tall. Flowers are cup-shaped and yellow with a maroon central eye. They may turn pink by the end of the day before the flower falls.
#23 Dainty Pink (H. rosa-sinensis)
Hibiscus flowers are pale pink and narrow at the base with a long protruding stamen.
#24 Butterball (H. rosa-sinensis)
This hibiscus plant has almost Peony-like sunshine yellow blooms with a double layer of petals. Flowers may reach up to 6 inches in size.
#25 Hamabo Hibiscus (H. hamabo)
A large shrub or small tree, this hibiscus flower is pale yellow with a deep red center. Blooms are 2-4 inches across. This plant is more cold tolerant than other species.
#26 Erin Rachael (H. rosa-sinensis)
Flowers have a deep red central eye, pale orange edges, and a gradient of pink hues in between.
#27 Petit Orange (H. rosa-sinensis)
This is a compact shrub that grows up to 3 feet tall. Flowers are small and bright orange with a deep red base.
#28 Kauaʻi White Hibiscus (H. waimeae)
This tree has white flowers and a red stamen. Blooms may change to pale pink by dusk. This flower is more fragrant than other native white Hawaiian hibiscus plants.
#29 Mt. Delaikoro hibiscus (H.bennettii)
Endemic to Fiji, this hibiscus tree has bright pink flowers with white veins and a deep red base. Trees are small, growing up to 14 feet tall, upper stems are pale gray with mid-dark green foliage.
#30 St. John’s Hibiscus (H. kokio)
Endemic to Hawaii, this flower can be orange, orange-red, and in rare cases yellow. Petals are narrow and curve backward.
#31 Red Chinese Lantern Hibiscus (H. grandidieri)
This hibiscus plant makes a great houseplant and has small but showy red blooms which are 1-2 inches wide. The stamen protrudes from the flower, with the tip almost exploding out like a firework.
#31 Cooperi (H. rosa-sinensis)
This plant has red flowers which reach up to 4 inches across. Foliage is variegated with a mixture of white, pink, and light green. New leaves are often white with pink veins which fade with maturity.
#32 Clay’s Hibiscus (H. clayi)
Endemic to Hawaii, this plant has red, spaced apart petals and a showy stamen. It is more compact than other native hibiscus shrubs.
#33 Cranberry Hibiscus (H. acetosella)
Flowers are usually deep maroon and less showy than other hibiscus types at 2 inches wide. These flowers usually bloom fall through winter, giving a pop of color during the cold months.
#34 Bladder Hibiscus (H. trionum)
Also known as flower of the hour, this annual species grows up to 2 feet tall. Flowers are up to 1.5 inches in diameter and pale cream to yellow with a dark maroon base.
#35 Lesser Mallow (H. hirtus)
This hibiscus shrub can be found in India and Malaysia. Flowers can be white, pink, or yellow with slightly rounded petals. The stamen is pink in color and usually shorter than the petals.
Also check our guide to learn how to care for hibiscus.
Braglia, Luca & Thomson, Lex. (2019). Review of Fiji Hibiscus (Malvaceae-Malvoideae) Species in Section Lilibiscus
India Biodiversity Portal, Hibiscus hirtus L., https://indiabiodiversity.org/species/show/229926
Inês Da-Costa-Rocha, Bernd Bonnlaender, Hartwig Sievers, Ivo Pischel, Michael Heinrich, (2014). Hibiscus sabdariffa L. – A phytochemical and pharmacological review, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S030881461400692X
Invasive Species Compendium, Hibiscus trionum (Venice mallow), https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/27133
Native Plants Hawaii, Hibiscus kokio subsp. saintjohnianus, http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/view/Hibiscus_kokio_saintjohnianus