hi·​bis·​cus hī-ˈbi-skəs How to pronounce hibiscus (audio)
: any of a large genus (Hibiscus) of herbs, shrubs, or small trees of the mallow family with large showy flowers and usually dentate leaves

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There are about 250 species of shrubs, trees, and herbaceous plants in the genus Hibiscus, which belongs to the mallow family. They are native to warm temperate and tropical regions. Several are cultivated as ornamentals for their showy flowers. The tropical Chinese or Hawaiian hibiscus, which is also called China rose, has large, somewhat bell-shaped reddish blossoms. The East African hibiscus, a drooping shrub, is often grown in hanging baskets indoors.

Examples of hibiscus in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Juliet de Souza, who gardens in Canoga Park, sent me a photo of her blue hibiscus (Alyogyne huegelii). Joshua Siskin, Orange County Register, 25 May 2024 The raw crustaceans, smashed flat using a tortilla press, are marinated in a neon-magenta mixture of rhubarb and hibiscus, with sultry, herby notes of shiso and Japanese cherry blossoms. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 14 Apr. 2024 It’s infused with cherry and hibiscus, and collagen, giving my lips an irresistible dewy and sheer finish. Larry Stansbury, Essence, 8 Apr. 2024 On this little pocket, roughly three miles long by one mile wide, there’s an unhurried vibe as deeply-rooted as the hibiscus and coconut trees that flourish here. Regan Stephens, Travel + Leisure, 28 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for hibiscus 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hibiscus.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


New Latin, from Latin, marshmallow

First Known Use

1706, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hibiscus was in 1706

Dictionary Entries Near hibiscus

Cite this Entry

“Hibiscus.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hibiscus. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


hi·​bis·​cus hī-ˈbis-kəs How to pronounce hibiscus (audio)
plural hibiscuses
: any of a large genus of herbs, shrubs, or small trees related to the mallow and having toothed leaves and large showy flowers

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