Sleeping Hibiscus
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Sleeping Hibiscus
ntroduced Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Sleeping hibiscus, Turk's Cap, Firecracker Hibiscus • Bengali: লংকা জবা Lanka jaba • Malayalam: Mottu chemparathi • Manipuri: ꯖꯨꯕꯥ ꯀꯨꯁꯨꯝ Juba kusum
Botanical name: Malvaviscus arboreus var. arboreus    Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Synonyms: Hibiscus nutans, Hibiscus speciosus

Sleeping Hibiscus is a shrub from tropical regions of Mexico. It is so named because of its flowers which look like unopened Hibiscus flowers. It is a spreading shrub to 2-3 m high. Stems densely clothed in stellate hairs. Leaves are densely clothed in velvety to tough hairs, ovate to nearly circular, heart-shaped, not lobed or shallowly 3-lobed. Leaf margin is crenate-serrate. Leaves are 5-15 cm long with stalks 2-12 cm long. Flowers are borne solitary or few in fascicles, in leaf axils. Petals are scarlet. There also exists a pink cultivar called 'Rosea'. Flowers are pendulous, 2-3 inches long. Sleeping Hibiscus requires full sun or partial shade, however if grown in partial shade you may sacrifice some flowers because of the reduced light.

Identification credit: Radhika Vathsan, Dinesh Valke Photographed in Delhi & Maharashtra.

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