1. Malvaviscus arboreus Cavanilles, Diss. 3: 131. 1787.
小悬铃花 xiao xuan ling hua
Hibiscus malvaviscus Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 694. 1753; Achania malvaviscus (Linnaeus) Swartz; H. coccineus Walter, nom. illeg. superfl.; Malvaviscus coccineus Medikus, nom. illeg. superfl.
Shrubs ca. 1 m tall. Branchlets sparsely villous to glabrate, rarely glabrous. Stipule filiform, ca. 4 mm, usually caducous; petiole 2-5 cm, puberulent; leaf blade broadly cordate to ovate-cordate, usually 3-lobed, sometimes entire, 6-12 × 2.5-10 cm, nearly glabrous or stellate pilose on both surfaces, basal veins 3 or 5, base broadly cuneate to nearly rounded or cordate, margin crenate, sometimes irregularly so, apex acuminate. Flowers solitary, axillary, pendulous, tube-shaped, slightly expanding only at top, 2.3-5 cm. Pedicel 3-15 mm, villous or puberulent. Epicalyx lobes spatulate, 8-15 mm, connate at base, hairy. Calyx campanulate, ca. 1 cm in diam., lobes 5, slightly longer or shorter than bracteoles, hirsute. Petals 5, scarlet-red, 2.5-5 cm. Staminal column 5-7 cm, exceeding corolla tube. Style branches 10. Ripe fruit bright red, usually 3- or 4-seeded.
Cultivated. Fujian (Xiamen), S Guangdong (Guangzhou), S Yunnan [native to Central and North America (SE United States); now widely planted in tropical and warm temperate regions, sometimes naturalized].
Chinese material is almost certainly to be referred to Malvaviscus arboreus var. arboreus. Malvaviscus arboreus var. drummondii (Torrey
& A. Gray) Schery, the name used by Feng (in FRPS 49(2): 50. 1984), is rarely cultivated. It differs from var. arboreus by the leaf blades being uniformly 3-lobed, with an obtuse (not acute) apex and strongly cordate (not truncate or cordate) base, and by the stem and petiole being diffusely pubescent with overlapping stellate hairs that form a velvety vestiture (not variously pubescent to glabrate).