Hibiscus schizopetalus, commonly called Japanese lantern, is native to tropical areas in eastern Africa. Although it is not native to Japan, its flowers droop from the branching in a manner reminiscent of Japanese lanterns, hence the common name. It typically grows as a narrow, woody, evergreen shrub to 6-9’ tall on upright-arching stems clad with ovate, serrate, dark green leaves (to 5” long). Lantern-like flowers (to 3” across) bloom seasonally on long pedicels. Each flower features recurved, fringed, pink to red petals and a long slender pendent staminal column. The specific epithet (schizo meaning split and petalus meaning petal) is in reference to the recurved and divided petals of each flower. This plant is synonymous with and formerly known as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis var.schizopetalus. It is also commonly called fringed hibiscus or fringed rosemallow in reference to its irregularly fringed petals.
We currently have 5 herbarium specimens for Hibiscus schizopetalus in our collection. Click on any specimen below to view the herbarium sheet data.