Classification of Hibiscus Sinensis

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Classification of Hibiscus Sinensis
: Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis is the national flower of Malaysia. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Taxonomic, or biological, classification divides all living organisms into seven categories. These categories are kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus and species. Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis names the genus (Hibiscus) and species of the plant (Rosa sinensis). The Hibiscus genus is of the family Malvaceae, which belongs to kingdom Plantae (plants), subkingdom Tracheobionta (vascular plants), superphylum Spermatophyta (seed plants), phylum Magnoliophyta (flowering plants), class Magnoliopsida (dicots), and order Malvales. Low levels of this classification system contain more details regarding specific species.

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Family

Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis is a member of the Malvaceae family, commonly known as the mallow family. There are approximately 75 genera and 1,500 species within the mallow family. Stellate hairs, or those that are frayed at the ends, and mucilaginous, or gel-like, sap characterise species of the family. Genera within the family include Abutilon, Alcea, Gossypium and Lagunaria. Most species of plants within the mallow family bear colourful, showy flowers and are suited to growth in warm climates. Nearly all of these flowers are bisexual, meaning they contain both male and female sexual organs.

Genus

Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis is a member of the Hibiscus genus. Species of Hibiscus are native to warm, subtropical and tropical climates and known to grow in south and southeastern Asia, India, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa and Australia. Types of plants within the genus include shrubs, trees, annuals and perennials. Hibiscus is the largest genus of the mallow family and contains more than 200 species. The genus is known for bearing large and funnel-shaped flowers in shades of red, pink, purple, blue, yellow and white.

Species

Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis is commonly classified as Chinese hibiscus, Hawaiian hibiscus and rose of China. Online resource Floridata asserts that it is native to southern Asia. On page 40 her book "Hibiscus: Hardy and Tropical Plants for the Garden," Barbara Perry Lawton writes that Hibiscus Rosa-sinensis originated in China and was introduced to southern Asian nations such as Malaysia as early as the 12th century. In the centuries since, it was naturalised to this region. Chinese hibiscus reaches a mature height of 15 feet and is separated from other species of its genus by it size and flared, bell-shaped flowers that grow up to 6 inches in diameter.

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