Hibiscus cannabinus Linn.
An annual or perennial, simple or branched herb. Stem with sparse, simple, bulbous, spiny hairs. Blade ovate and not lobed in the lowermost part, in the upper part 3-7 partite; lobes elliptic-lanceolate, coarsely serrate, nearly glabrous on both sides; stipules 6-8 mm long, filiform; petiole 4-15 cm long, almost somewhat spiny near the top. Flowers axillary, solitary, subsessile; epicalyx segments 7-8, linear, 6-10 mm long, sparsely prickly. Calyx fused at the base, 1-2.5 cm long, wooly, also setose or prickly, lobes long acuminate-aristate, with a swollen, linear gland on the central nerve at the base. Corolla yellow with a crimson centre, 3-5 cm across; petals obovate, 4-6 cm long, 2-4 cm broad. Staminal column inserted. Capsule 1.5-2 cm long, c. 1 cm across, conical, beaked, appressed-setose. Seeds many, 2-3 mm long, brown.
Lectotype: Comm. Hort. 1:35.t.18.1701.
Distribution: It is common in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. It is difficult to state its native home.
It is cultivated in Pakistan for fibre which is white, soft and silkys. In quality it is said to be equal to jute and may be employed for all purposes for which jute is suitable. The seeds are fed to cattle and poultry, and sometimes oil is extracted which is useful as a lubricant. Various parts are also said to be medicinally important.