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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 693. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/25/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted

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6. Hibiscus L. (hibiscus)

Plants annual or perennial herbs, shrubs, or small trees. Stems spreading or ascending to erect, branched or less commonly unbranched. Leaf blades 1.5–12.0 cm wide, narrowly to broadly ovate in outline, unlobed or shallowly to deeply lobed (sometimes appearing nearly compound in H. trionum) broadly rounded to truncate or shallowly cordate at the base, rounded or pointed at the tip, the margins entire to more commonly toothed, scalloped, or lobed. Stipules 1–8 mm long, linear, shed before leaf maturity or persistent. Flowers solitary in the leaf axils (rarely in small clusters in H. syriacus), sometimes also appearing terminal, the bractlets subtending the calyx 8–12(–15), conspicuous, linear. Calyces closely cup-shaped at fruiting, appearing rounded or sometimes somewhat 5-angled at fruiting, the sepals fused to above the middle, the lobes triangular. Petals showy, 15–120 mm long, rounded to broadly rounded at the tip, the margin otherwise somewhat undulate or irregular, sometimes slightly to strongly asymmetric, variously colored, usually with a dark reddish purple area at the base. Stamens numerous, the staminal column circular in cross-section, with a low crown of teeth at the tip. Pistils with 5 locules, the carpels closely fused. Styles fused most of their length, the tube usually curved or bent obliquely upward at the tip, each branch with a globose or disc-shaped terminal stigma. Fruits capsules, dehiscing longitudinally from the tip. About 200 species, nearly worldwide, most diverse in tropical and warm-temperate regions.

The elongate, mucilaginous fruits of Hibiscus esculentus L. are known as okra and are popular in particularly Creole cuisine. The fruits are sliced and included in gumbos, with the mucilage acting as a thickener.

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