Hibiscus cannabinus L.

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Hibiscus cannabinus

Photo: James Varden
Corncob Farm, Umguza Irrigation Scheme, Bulawayo

Hibiscus cannabinus

Photo: James Varden
Corncob Farm, Umguza Irrigation Scheme, Bulawayo

Hibiscus cannabinus

Photo: James Varden
Corncob Farm, Umguza Irrigation Scheme, Bulawayo

Hibiscus cannabinus

Photo: James Varden
Corncob Farm, Umguza Irrigation Scheme, Bulawayo

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Hibiscus henriquesii P. Lima
Common names: Decan hemp (English) Kenaf (English) Wild stockrose (English)
Status: Native
Annual, usually unbranched, herb to 2 m. Stems aculeate with small, rather sparse, prickles usually pointing upwards, otherwise nearly glabrous or with a longitudinal line of crisped pubescence. Leaves: petiole up to 22 cm; lamina up to 15 × 15 cm, usually subcircular in outline, 3-7-palmately lobed, the segments usually narrowly elliptic to linear (occasionally broader), scaberulous or almost glabrous with a few minute prickles on the nerves, usually with a prominent gland on the under surface near the base of the midrib; margin serrate or dentate. Flowers up to 10 cm in diameter, white, greyish or pale yellow, with dark purple centre. Epicalyx of 7-8 bracts; each up to 18 mm, linear. Calyx up to 25 mm, setose, 10-nerved; lobes acuminate or long-acuminate; gland on midrib of calyx lobe conspicuous, usually at least 1.5 mm in diameter (rarely 0). Capsule up to 20 × 15 mm. Seeds minutely faveolate.
Notes: Somewhat similar to Hibiscus nigricaulis and differing in the characters highlighted in the description.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: A weed of disturbed and arable places
Flowering time:Nov - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in the tropics and subtropics
Botswana distribution: N
Growth form(s): Annual.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Saturday 8 July 2017

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 105. (Includes a picture).

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 96 - 97. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 203. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mugarisanwa, N.H. (2003). Plants of the Matobo District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 20. As Hibiscus asper

Exell, A.W. (1961). Malvaceae Flora Zambesiaca 1(2) Pages 442 - 443.

Heath, A. & Heath, R. (2009). Field Guide to the Plants of Northern Botswana including the Okavango Delta Kew Publishing Page 282. (Includes a picture).

Kirby, G. (2013). Wild Flowers of Southeast Botswana Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 200. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 60.

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 80. (Includes a picture).

Setshogo, M.P. (2005). Preliminary checklist of the plants of Botswana. Sabonet Report no. 37. Sabonet, Pretoria and Gaborone Page 84.

Siebert, S. & Mössmer, M. (Editors) (2002). SABONET Southern Mozambique Expedition 2001; Provisional Plant Checklist of the Maputo Elephant Reserve (MER) and Licuati Forest Reserve (LFR) SABONET News 7(1) Page 27.

Timberlake, J.R. & Childes, S.L. (2004). Biodiversity of the Four Corners Area: Technical Reviews Volume Two (Chapter 5-15) Appendix 5-1: Plant Checklist Occasional Publications in Biodiversity 15 Page 218.

Wild, H. (1955). Common Rhodesian Weeds Government of Rhodesia, Salisbury Page 41. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Hibiscus cannabinus:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Hibiscus cannabinus
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Hibiscus cannabinus
Flora of Malawi: Hibiscus cannabinus
Flora of Mozambique: Hibiscus cannabinus
Flora of Zambia: Hibiscus cannabinus
Flora of Zimbabwe: Hibiscus cannabinus

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Hibiscus cannabinus
African Plant Database: Hibiscus cannabinus
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Hibiscus cannabinus
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Hibiscus cannabinus
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Hibiscus cannabinus
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Hibiscus cannabinus
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Hibiscus cannabinus
JSTOR Plant Science: Hibiscus cannabinus
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Hibiscus cannabinus
Plants of the World Online: Hibiscus cannabinus
Tropicos: Hibiscus cannabinus
Wikipedia: Hibiscus cannabinus

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Botswana: Species information: Hibiscus cannabinus.
https://www.botswanaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=139320, retrieved 28 May 2024

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