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Edible uses


The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite probably also apply to this species[K].

Young leaves - raw or cooked[1][2][3][4]. A very mild flavour, though slightly on the tough side, they make an acceptable addition to the salad bowl[K]. A tea is made from the leaves[1][2][5] or the flowers[4]. Flowers - raw or cooked[6][7][4]. A mild flavour and mucilaginous texture, they are delightful in salads, both for looking at and for eating[K].

Root - it is edible but very fibrousy[8]. Mucilaginous, without very much flavour[8].



Unknown part


Material uses

The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite probably also apply to this similar species[K].

A low quality fibre is obtained from the stems. It is used for making cordage and paper[6]. The seed contains about 25% oil[6]. No further details are given, but it is likely to be edible. A hair shampoo is made from the leaves[6]. A blue dye is obtained from the flowers[9].

This species is planted as a hedge in S. Europe[10].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The following notes are for the closely related H. syriacus. They quite possibly also apply to this species[K].

Ophthalmic, styptic[11][12]. The leaves are diuretic, expectorant and stomachic[13][5]. A decoction of the flowers is diuretic, ophthalmic and stomachic[11][13]. It is also used in the treatment of itch and other skin diseases[5], dizziness and bloody stools accompanied by much gas[11].

A decoction of the root bark is antiphlogistic, demulcent, emollient, febrifuge, haemostatic and vermifuge[13][5]. It is used in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, dysmenorrhoea[5] and dermaphytosis[11].


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions



Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Seed - sow early spring in a greenhouse. Germination is usually fairly quick. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.

Some reports say that the seed can be sown in situ outside and that it gives a good rate of germination[14][15][16]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame. Good percentage[16]. Cuttings of mature wood, early autumn in a frame. Good percentage[16].

Layering in mid summer to early autumn[17].

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Hibiscus sinosyriacus. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.


Prefers a well-drained humus rich fertile soil in a sheltered position in full sun[18]. Succeeds in any soil of good or moderate quality[19]. Dislikes shade or badly drained soils[19]. Plants grow best with their roots in cool moist soil and their tops in a hot sunny position.

Plants are hardy in most parts of the country, tolerating temperatures down to around -15°c[18]. They are best grown in the milder areas, however, because of their habit of flowering late in the season and thus being subject to frost damage[18]. When planted in colder parts of the country they will need some protection for the first few winters[18]. This species is closely related to H. syriacus, differing mainly in the larger leaves and larger epicalyx[18]. Plants rarely require pruning[20], though they respond well to pruning and trimming and this is best carried out in the spring or just after flowering[20]. The flowers are produced on the current season's growth[18]. and they only open in sunny weather[20]. Plants are late coming into leaf, usually around the end of May or early June[21].

There are some named varieties selected for their ornamental value[19].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Hibiscus sinosyriacus. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Hibiscus sinosyriacus.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Hibiscus sinosyriacus
Imported References
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
full sun
light shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    3 x 2 meters
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? Hedrick. U. P. Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World. Dover Publications ISBN 0-486-20459-6 (1972-00-00)
    2. ? Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    4. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    5. ? Chopra. R. N., Nayar. S. L. and Chopra. I. C. Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants (Including the Supplement). Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi. (1986-00-00)
    6. ? Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    8. ? Cribb. A. B. and J. W. Wild Food in Australia. Fontana ISBN 0-00-634436-4 (1976-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Grae. I. Nature's Colors - Dyes from Plants. MacMillan Publishing Co. New York. ISBN 0-02-544950-8 (1974-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)
    11. ? ? A Barefoot Doctors Manual. Running Press ISBN 0-914294-92-X ()
    12. ? 12.012.1 Stuart. Rev. G. A. Chinese Materia Medica. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre ()
    13. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    14. ? Sheat. W. G. Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers. MacMillan and Co (1948-00-00)
    15. ? McMillan-Browse. P. Hardy Woody Plants from Seed. Grower Books ISBN 0-901361-21-6 (1985-00-00)
    16. ? Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W. The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation. Athens Ga. Varsity Press ISBN 0942375009 (1987-00-00)
    17. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    18. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    19. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    20. ? Grey-Wilson. C. & Matthews. V. Gardening on Walls Collins ISBN 0-00-219220-0 (1983-00-00)
    21. ? Thomas. G. S. Ornamental Shrubs, Climbers and Bamboos. Murray ISBN 0-7195-5043-2 (1992-00-00)
    22. ? [Flora of China] (1994-00-00)