Hibiscus mutabilis Linn., Sp. Pl. 694. 1753. Mast. in Hook. f., l. c. 344; Stewart in Nasir & Ali, l. c. 479.
Shrubs or small trees, 2-5 m tall. All parts densely stellate pubescent and mixed with simple, glandular, yellowish or purplish hairs. Leaves with 3-10 cm long petiole; blade 5-15 cm long, usually broader than long, shallowly cordate-truncate at base, coarsely serrate obscurely-distinctly 3-7 lobed; lobes acute; stipules small, linear lanceolate. Flowers axillary, solitary, large, single or double; pedicel longer than petiole, articulate near the top; epicalyx segments 8-12, free, 0.7-2 cm long, c. 2 mm broad, linear to linear-lanceolate. Calyx free below or to the middle, 2.5-3 cm long, ± 1 cm broad, in fruit up to 4.5 cm; lobes ovate, acuminate. Corolla 5-8 cm across, white to pink, changing in colour to more or less red by late evening, but not so in single flowers; petals 4-6 cm long and broad, obovate, pubescent outside, claw with ciliate margin. Staminal column 2-2.5 cm long, subglobose, grooved or notched in the centre, lanate, inner margin of the valves villous, hairs c. 4 mm long. Seeds numerous, 2-2.5 mm long, reniform, dark brown, dorsal and lateral sides with spreading, simple to 6 branched, up to 2 mm long hairs.
Lectotype: H.U. Herb. Linn. n. 875. 20 (LINN!).
Distribution: It is native to China. Also said to be native to Japan. It is commonly cultivated in most of the countries.
It is said to be medicinally important. In Malaya and China the flowers are used as a remedy of the chest diseases and leaves are applied to swellings. The plants are also used as emollient in Guiana.