The scientific names for the most common species of hibiscus are Hibiscus syriacus and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis. Hibiscus syriacus, which has the common name of Rose of Sharon in North America, is grown in temperate zones, while the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis thrives in tropical climates.
There are 232 species of hibiscus. Some of the more common varieties include the Hawaiian red hibiscus, the Red Rosemallow, the Foulsapate Marrow and the China rose (the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). Many of these species are native to East Asia, though hibiscus plants are grown worldwide. Hibiscus flowers are generally large, with five or more petals, and vary in color.