Hibiscus asper (Bush Roselle)

Scientific Name

Hibiscus asper Hook.f.

Common Names

Bush Roselle


Hibiscus cordofanus, Hibiscus unidens, Hibiscus verrucosus, Ketmia glandulosa

Scientific Classification

Family: Malvaceae
Tribe: Hibisceae
Genus: Hibiscus


Color: Pale yellow
Bloom Time: Late summer or fall


Hibiscus asper is a perennial herb that grows up to 6.6 feet (2 m) tall. Stems have fine prickles and simple or stellate hairs. Leaves are green with 2-fid stellate hairs on ribs and veins. Flowers are pale yellow with a red-purple base and up to 1.2 inches (3 cm) in diameter. This species was and sometimes still is considered conspecific with Hibiscus cannabinus.

Hibiscus asper (Bush Roselle)
Photo via senckenberg.de


USDA hardiness zone 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Hibiscus should be moved outside in the summer, then back inside during the winter. Tips for a successful transition include: Trim the plant hard before moving it inside for the winter. It will go into near dormancy until late winter; After you trim it, but before you bring it in, treat it thoroughly for insects. Neem oil and liquid detergent work well, or use a hose to blast off insects; Once inside, don't overwater, but provide as much humidity as possible, including daily mistings. Don't expose to blowing air from vents; When the weather warms above 50ºF (10ºC) at night, move it back outside and acclimate slowly.

Repot as necessary, yearly or biannually. Hibiscus will grow into trees in their native habitats, but this may be unwieldy in a home setting. There's also some benefit to keeping the Hibiscus in a relatively smaller pot, as it will make for easier pruning and moving. Failure to repot these plants often can leave them in soil without adequate nutrients for their survival, and repotting will often spur on growth if you're finding that your Hibiscus plants seem to have stalled out. Watch out for falling leaves or other signs of stress. See more at How to Grow and Care for Hibiscus.


It is widely distributed throughout tropical Africa and in Madagascar.


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